Brooklyn rapper Jay-Z, Atlanta rappers OutKast and Irish rockers U2 captured the first three places on the nation's pop album chart this week with high-profile debuts as the record industry moves into its hectic holiday season.
Jay-Z's "The Dynasty Roc La Familia (2000- )" sold about 558,000 copies to nab the top spot, narrowly edging OutKast's "Stankonia," which sold 526,000 copies. U2's "All That You Can't Leave Behind" sold 428,000 copies.
Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water," which had held the No. 1 spot for two weeks, fell to fourth with sales of 298,000. Another debut -- rock group Godsmack's "Awake" -- rounds out the Top 5, thanks to sales of 256,000.
Because about a quarter of the record industry's annual $14 billion sales total is generated between now and Christmas, there is usually a flood of year-end releases.
R. Kelly's "TP-2.Com," which was released Tuesday by Jive Records, should enter the charts next week at No. 1. Based on first-day sales, one major U.S. retailer projects the album will sell around 650,000 this week.
Here are some of the high-profile artists who will be battling for that holiday bounty.
Tuesday: the Offspring (last album sales: 4.5 million) and Ricky Martin (6.6 million). Plus: a two-disc Beatles' greatest-hits package and a four-disc Eagles boxed set.
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