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50 Sells Over a Million

The Massacre is the second-highest debut in hip-hop history

50 Cent’s The Massacre lived up to all the bloody hype, selling 1.1 million copies in just five days, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the second-best opening-week total in hip-hop history. The Queens rapper’s last record, 2003’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’, also released on a Thursday, previously held that distinction, with 872,000 units moved. Both of 50’s blockbusters fell short of — who else? — Eminem, who moved 1.7 million copies of The Marshall Mathers LP back in 2000.

50 left this week’s other high-voltage debut, Jennifer Lopez’s Rebirth, in the dust: the Latina diva’s first album since her much-publicized break with actor Ben Affleck and sudden marriage to crooner Marc Anthony sold 261,000 copies. Although this is a higher debut than 2002’s This Is Me…Then, which opened at Number Six, the sales figures are more than 50,000 lower — certainly not helped by Lopez’s recent lackluster performance aside her new hubby at the Grammy Awards.

Surfer folkie Jack Johnson, whose two previous albums have sold more than 1 million copies apiece, continues to add to his legions of fans. His latest, In Between Dreams, moved 229,000 copies in its first week to take the Number Three slot. This is 100,000 more than his last album, 2003’s On and On, which debuted in the same spot. And fierce guitar rockers the Mars Volta bust out of indiedom with their second album, Frances the Mute, which sold 123,000 copies to seize Number Four.

Meanwhile, The Documentary, the debut from this year’s hip-hop breakout story the Game, dropped a slot to Number Five, with 100,000 sold. And Green Day’s American Idiot, after a long Top Five resurgence, slipped to Number Six (86,000). Former B2K star Omarion, whose solo debut O had a short life in the top spot last week, fell to Number Eight in its second week (77,000).

But the only real loser this week is veteran singer-songwriter Tori Amos. Her eighth studio album, The Beekeeper, fell twenty places in its second week — from Number Five to Twenty-Five — with a mere 35,000 units moved.

With no major releases this week, expect 50 to continue running away with the charts. Nothing short of a surprise release from Eminem could spoil his reign.

This week’s Top Ten: 50 Cent’s The Massacre; Jennifer Lopez’s Rebirth; Jack Johnson’s In Between Dreams; Mars Volta’s Frances the Mute; the Game’s The Documentary; Green Day’s American Idiot; Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company; Omarion’s O; Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway.


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