HITS Daily Double


Rap-Rockers Dominate as Celine Dion Shows Top 5 Heart
After several weeks of charts dominated by 50 Cent and Grammy darling Norah Jones, Southern California rap-rockers Linkin Park are here to take over.

Meteora (Warner Bros.), the band’s hotly anticipated sophomore release, should sell anywhere from 900k to 1 million in its first week, according to early reports from national accounts. That, of course, will make it an easy #1 on next week’s chart.

Linkin Park’s 2000 debut, Hybrid Theory, sold 50k in its first week and has sold nearly 8 million in the U.S. to date.

Meanwhile, in a far different part of the musical spectrum, another big debut is brewing: Canadian diva Celine Dion’s new release, One Heart (Epic)—launched in sync with the opening of her three-year Las Vegas show, a major television special and her own perfume—appears on track to sell around 600k this week, giving Sin City oddsmakers every reason to believe it will come in at #2.

Of course, last night’s television special is the proverbial wild card in the Dion mix and could drive her number even higher, but its effect won’t be known until later in the week.

Dion’s last album, A New Day Has Come, released almost exactly a year ago, moved 530k in its first week and has sold nearly 3 million in the U.S. to date.

Also streeting yesterday was the Now 12 compilation (Capitol) featuring hits from Jay-Z, J.Lo, Nelly, Justin Timberlake and others. Early reports indicate it will sell in the neighborhood of 250k for the week, making it a probable #3 and easily placing it in the Top 5, regardless.

The previous Now installment, Now 11 (Universal), came out last November and sold 320k in its first week. It has sold 1.9 million in the U.S. to date.