HITS Daily Double
Blige and Duff are pretty much guaranteed the #1 and #2 positions on next week’s chart, respectively.


Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Is Back in a Big Way, as Hilary Duff Trails, Makes Her Mark on Music
What’s the 411, you ask?

This week, it’s all about Mary J. Blige and her life, her life, her life in the sunshine—and in the spotlight once again, as her new album, Love & Life (Geffen), gets off to a fast start at retail.

Indeed, according to early reports from national accounts, sales of Blige’s album, which hit the streets yesterday, should easily climb over 250k by the end of the week and could rise as high as 300k, if it has a big weekend. As always, Blige has heart—and her new album's got legs.

Meanwhile, teen television/movie franchise Hilary Duff, known to most of the underage mass-media consuming world as Lizzie McGuire, breaks into the music world with a bang, as her Metamorphosis (Buena Vista) sells briskly out of the box, as expected. Early reports indicate that Duffs debut will approach 200k by week’s end.

The above pretty much guarantees Blige and Duff the #1 and #2 positions on next week’s chart, respectively.

Both artists are appearing on tomorrow night’s gala MTV Video Music Awards (Blige performing, Duff presenting), which should significantly increase sales for each. But speaking of week’s end, the studious observer should note that Labor Day weekend is a notoriously slow and sluggish interval where record sales are concerned.

In fact, last year, sales during Labor Day week were off 19% compared to the week before. Our team of white-coated retail prognosticators (who prepared the preceding statistic for you) says to look for a similar dip this year.

Which, when you think about it, makes Blige’s and Duff’s predicted #1 and #2 bows all the more spectacular.

So concludes today’s ration of good news. We don’t want to overwhelm you.