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Alan Jackson Bumps McGraw

Country heroes dominate the charts

It’s a battle of country titans on the charts this week, with the strong debut of Alan Jackson’s What I Do knocking Tim McGraw’s two-week Number One Live Like You Were Dying from the top spot. Jackson’s latest sold 177,800 in its first week, not quite the phenomenon that was 2002’s Drive — bolstered by the September 11th song “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” — which opened with 423,000 copies in January 2002.

Ray Charles’ posthumous release Genius Loves Company fell a spot to Number Three (135,000), and Anita Baker, one of Charles’ many soul disciples, debuted at Number Four, moving 131,000 copies of My Everything, her first album in a decade. The powerhouse compilation Now That’s What I Call Music! 16 (128,000) and Ashlee Simpson’s Autobiography (88,500), both former Number Ones, came in at Number Five and Six respectively.

Making the downward slide this week were Jill Scott and L.L. Cool J, whose records Beautifully Human and each fell four places to Seven (79,000) and Eight (76,000), respectively. R. Kelly, whose double-CD Happy People/U Saved Me debuted at Number Two, is barely holding onto the Top Ten, down from Six to Number Nine (71,000). And the comeback story of the year Prince lost his nearly five-month Top Ten foothold, as Musicology dropped from Nine to Thirteen (63,000).

Even though country’s sure bets continued to dominate this week, expect hip-hop to lay waste to the charts next week with yesterday’s double-release of rapper Nelly’s albums Sweat and Suit, as well as the return of embattled Murder Inc.’s star Ja Rule with R.U.L.E..

This week’s Top Ten: Alan Jackson’s What I Do; Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying; Ray Charles’ Genius Loves Company; Anita Baker’s My Everything; Now That’s What I Call Music! 16; Ashlee Simpson’s Autobiography; Jill Scott’s Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2; LL Cool J’s The Definition; R. Kelly’s Happy People/U Saved Me; Young Buck’s Straight Outta Cashville


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