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Monica storms to the top

June 26, 2003|Robert Hilburn | Times Staff Writer

R&B singer Monica's album entered the national pop chart at No. 1 on Wednesday, giving Clive Davis' J Records three of the five best-selling CDs -- a remarkable feat for a company that was founded just three years ago.

"After the Storm" topped the chart by selling 186,000 copies in its first week, knocking Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father," which topped last week's chart, to second place. The veteran R&B singer's J Records release sold 182,000 copies.

The other J Records disc in the Top 5 is Annie Lennox's "Bare," which is No. 5 after selling 93,000 copies in its second week in stores.

Davis, the former head of Columbia and Arista Records, started J Records in 2000 as a joint venture with BMG. Last year he also was given authority over RCA by BMG.

Two high-profile rock acts, Metallica and Radiohead, held on to their places in the top 10, though both slipped one spot to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

Three artists fell from the top 10 after brief stays: country star George Strait (No. 5 to No. 14), rapper Joe Budden (No. 8 to No. 16) and pop veterans Steely Dan (No. 9 to No. 22).

Norah Jones' Grammy-winning "Come Away With Me," which has been on the chart for more than a year, shows no signs of losing favor. The album, which ranks No. 7 this week, has sold nearly 6.4 million copies -- the most of any album now in the top 50.

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