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Keys ‘Unplugs’ for 3rd straight No. 1 disc

October 19, 2005

By Margo Whitmire

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) – Alicia Keys extends her
chart-topping legacy this week, notching her third consecutive
No. 1 bow on the Billboard 200.

With first-week U.S. sales of 196,000 copies, according to
Nielsen SoundScan, “Unplugged” (J Records) arrives ahead of
last week’s No. 1, Nickelback’s “All the Right Reasons,” as
well as new offerings from Gary Allan and Ricky Martin.

In 2003, “The Diary of Alicia Keys” took the top slot with
a 618,000-copy start, following the No. 1 opening of her 2001
debut, “Songs in A Minor,” which reaped first-week sales of
236,000. Those titles have sold 4.4 million and 6 million,
respectively.

Recorded in July at the Brooklyn Academy of Music,
“Unplugged” is a mix of Keys originals and covers with special
guests who include Common, Mos Def, Damian Marley and Maroon
5′s Adam Levine.

After spending one week at the summit, Nickelback’s
Roadrunner/IDJMG set falls to No. 2 on sales of 170,000, a
typical 48 percent second-week sales slide.

At No. 3, “Tough All Over” gives Allan a career-high perch
on the Billboard 200. And sales of 97,000 mark the best sales
week the MCA Nashville country artist has posted. His 2003 set
“See If I Care” started at No. 17 with 58,000 copies and has
sold 800,000 to date.

The yo-yo effect strikes the Black Eyed Peas’ “Monkey
Business” (A&M/Interscope) again as the album rebounds from No.
9 to No. 4 on a 13 percent gain to 90,000 copies. Kanye West’s
“Late Registration” (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) jumps from No. 6 to
No. 5 despite a 12 percent dip to 83,000.

SIXTH-PLACE BOW FOR RICKY

Martin’s “Life” (Columbia), his first English-language
album in five years, opens at No. 6 on the strength of 73,000
copies. His last such set, 2000′s “Sound Loaded,” bowed at No.
4 with 318,000 units and has sold 1.7 million.

Rounding out the top tier is Sheryl Crow’s “Wildflower”
(A&M), falling 5-7 on a 44 percent drop to 59,000; Twista’s
“The Day After” (Atlantic), which dips 2-8 on a 55 percent skid
to 58,000; Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” (Epic), slipping
4-9 as sales slide 52 percent to 57,000; and Young Jeezy’s
“Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation” (Corporate Thugz/Def
Jam/IDJMG), which leaps 19-10 on a 3 percent rise to 54,000.

Also debuting this week is Story Of The Year’s sophomore
effort, “In the Wake of Determination” (Maverick). The No. 19
entry and first-week sales of 42,000 are career bests for the
St. Louis-based rock act. It’s a marked improvement over the
group’s 2003 debut, “Page Avenue,” which started at No. 104
with 11,000 units and has sold 790,000.

Sevendust’s first post-TVT Records album, “Next”
(Winedark), starts at No. 20 with 41,000 copies. The band’s
2003 set “Seasons” entered at No. 14 with 67,000 and has sold
303,000.

Other notable entries include Danger Doom’s “The Mouse and
the Mask” (Epitaph, No. 41), Dolly Parton’s “Those Were the
Days” (Sugar Hill, No. 48) and Jamie Cullum’s “Catching Tales”
(Verve, No. 49).

Overall U.S. album sales were down 6 percent from last week
at 10 million units, about 2.6 percent off the same week last
year. Year-to-date sales trail 2004 by 10 percent at 436
million units.

Reuters/Billboard




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