Propelled by the media attention that comes with receiving five Grammy nominations, Norah Jones will lay claim to the #1 position on next week's Billboard albums chart with her debut LP, Come Away With Me. (Click here for the list of nominees and for photos of this year's Grammy nominees and performers.)
Following a chart debut at #139, the album has been selling steadily since its release in February and began to flit about in the top 20 in mid-October, as universal critical acclaim and favorable word of mouth reached an apex. With last week's news that Jones is the focus of the 45th annual Grammy Awards, by not only tying seven other artists with a pack-leading five nominations (see "Eminem, Avril Lavigne, Nelly, Norah Jones Nab Most Grammy Noms"), but scoring nods in each of the big four categories (Song, Record and Album of the Year, and Best New Artist), the jazzy-pop chanteuse's LP was able to move up a notch from its previous #2 position by selling more than 108,000 copies, according to SoundScan. It's the first time the 46-week-old Come Away With Me will have the top slot.
Come Away With Me is also the first album of any released on the primarily jazz imprint Blue Note Records to be tops on the Billboard chart since the label's inception in 1939.
Albums by fellow Grammy nominees Avril Lavigne, the Dixie Chicks, Eminem and Nelly also benefited from the media attention, either holding onto their current position or slipping only slightly. Avril Lavigne's Let Go will maintain its post at #3 (83,000), while the Dixie Chicks' Home held its #4 slot by selling more than 79,000 copies.
Further down the chart, Eminem's The Eminem Show will step from #13 to #14 (47,000), its lowest chart position since its release in May, while the soundtrack to "8 Mile" will slide from #1 to #5. Nelly's Nellyville will remain at #15 (46,000) for the second straight week.
Without any Grammy nominations, Jennifer Lopez managed to sell enough copies of This Is Me ... Then to take the biggest step up in next week's top 10. Lopez's third studio album will move from #6 to #2, with more than 88,000 copies sold.
The remainder of the top 10 finds Justin Timberlake's Justified up a notch to #6 (70,000); Shania Twain's Up! breaking 3 million in total sales by selling more than 68,000 copies to come in at #7; Missy Elliott's Under Construction moving up three spots to #8 (58,000); and Christina Aguilera's Stripped losing five spots to land at #10 (56,000).
Weekly sales figures overall continue to decline in the wake of the holiday shopping season. Only two albums in the top 40 enjoyed an increase in sales. Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head, which was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album while its track "In My Place" is up for Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocal, sold approximately 1,500 copies more than it did the previous week, to move from #39 to #16. Having been made accessible to the country crowd thanks to his successful new single, "Picture," Kid Rock will move up 14 spots to #24 with his second major-label album, Cocky, which sold more than 34,000 copies and experienced a slight sales surge.
Kind words from Eminem (along with his huge club-banger "In Da Club") must have given credence to rapper 50 Cent (see "50 Cent Spends Chunks of Change To Get Criticized By Eminem, Dre"). The artist, whose forthcoming album will be co-produced by the Detroit MC, enjoyed a 2,000-copy bump in sales of his Guess Who's Back? mixtape to move up 50 spots to #91.
Los Angeles rockers the Exies have the only notable debut on next week's chart. The quartet's second album, Inertia, will come in at #115.