HITS Daily Double
"Eminem is really in a league of his own right now. I mean, just look at those numbers. Since he’s come on the scene, no one has been able to touch him."
——Violet Brown, Trans World/Wherehouse


Eminem's Second Week Better Than First, Destiny's Child, Lil Jon, Clay Aiken, Snoop, Chingy Bow
Yo yo yo. Merry rap-mas.

Eminem does his part to spark the Q4 retail rush, as his Shady/Aftermath/Interscope album, Encore, landed on top again with its first full week at retail.

In one of the best sales weeks of the year, Slim Shady proves formidable, selling 928k albums for a 10-day total of 1.7m. That compares pretty favorably to his last album, The Eminem Show, which sold 311k in three days and 1.4m its first full week out for a similar total of 1.7m back in June 2002.

But Mathers isn’t the only one to marshal consumer forces. Columbia’s Destiny’s Child landed at #2, with a robust 505k in sales for its full week, a modest 848% rise over the 53k in retail leaks. And TVT’s crunkin’ Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz landed at #3, with 386k in sales after leaks of more than 34k last week, giving it an eye-opening gain of 1,014%.

Trans World/Wherehouse's Violet Brown was so pumped up, she threw a cup of ice at Ron Artest and ducked a roundhouse right before effusing: "Eminem is definitely the #1 rap release of the year, and Destiny’s Child is far and away the #1 R&B release of the week. We expected both to be real winners and carry us through the end of the year and into next year. Eminem is really in a league of his own right now. I mean, just look at those numbers. Since he’s come on the scene, no one has been able to touch him."

RCA/RMG’s Clay Aiken gets his yule on at #4 with 265k+, which beats a lump of coal in yer stocking any day, while Geffen’s Snoop Dogg (#6, 229k), and Capitol’s Chingy (#10, 123k+) round out the week’s Top 10 debuts.

Top Ten holdovers include country superstars Mercury Nashville’s Shania Twain (#5) and DreamWorks Nashville’s Toby Keith (#7), Capitol’s Now Vol. 17 (#8) and LaFace/ZLG’s Usher (#9).

There were a total of 12 albums selling more than 100k this week, including MCA Nashville’s George Strait (#11) and Jive/ZLG’s Britrney Spears (#12).

Other chart newcomers include greatest hits collections from Epic’s Pearl Jam (#15) and Reprise’s Neil Young (#30); Columbia/CRG’s WWE album (#32), Capitol’s Beatles box set (#34, with 42.5k sold of a four-CD box set), Columbia/CRG jazz horn phenom Chris Botti (#38, thanks to an Oprah appearance), Republic/Universal metal gods Rammstein (#40), Lava/Atl G’s Christmas perennials Trans-Siberian Orchestra (#41), WB’s Polar Express soundtrack (#43), El Music’s Collective Soul (#45) and Universal’s Bon Jovi best of with new tracks (#46),

Octone/J/RMG’s Maroon 5 took a nice 34-24, +38% rise, while Geffen’s Ashlee Simpson gains 28%.

Next week, it’s all about whether U2’s Bomb can blow up the million mark, with releases also due from Interscope’s Gwen Stefani, J’s Fantasia and Ruben Studdard, Columbia/CRG’s Jessica Simpson Christmas album, Geffen’s Nirvana box set, and greatest hits album from Wind-up’s Creed and Evanescence.