Norah hits 'Home' run: 1 mil sold in 1st week

Norah Jones’ “Feels Like Home” became the first album to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week since ‘N Sync’s July 2001 release “Celebrity” did 1.88 million.

The 1.022 million copies sold of Jones’ sophomore Blue Note disc led a true bonanza at retail: The week of Feb. 9-15 has gone into the record books as the biggest-selling individual week, excluding a “holiday season” week (November-December), since SoundScan started in 1991. Album sales exceeded 17 million units.

Along with Jones and a new release from Melissa Etheridge, Valentine’s Day and the Grammy Awards contributed to the record week.

During the album’s release week, Jones performed on NBC’s “Today” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” She’s scheduled to appear on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on Monday, “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart Wednesday and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” March 9. Her debut disc, “Come Away With Me,” shot up to No. 18 on SoundScan’s chart, selling 80,000. That album’s cume now has topped 8 million.

‘Dropout’ drops in

Second place went to Kanye West, whose Roc-a-Fella debut “The College Dropout” sold an impressive 440,000 copies. Album features the track “Slow Jamz,” the No. 1 single last week, which also appears on Twista’s Atlantic album “Kamikaze,” which slid to No. 8 on sales of 151,000.

Grammy-related bumps started with OutKast, whose “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” (Arista) rose to No. 4 on sales of 275,000, a nearly 150% sales spike. Josh Groban’s “Closer” (Reprise) sold 231,000 to take No. 5; new artist winner Evanescence’s “Fallen” (Wind-Up) sold 183,000; the “2004 Grammy Nominees” compilation album (BMG) shot up 85% to 120,000; Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love” (Columbia) doubled sales to 99,000 copies; and Coldplay’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head” (Capitol) saw a 71% increase on sales of 44,000. Michael McDonald, who presented an award, saw his “Motown” album (Motown) rise 20 places on sales of 93,000.

Several acts registered leaps of more than 200% from Grammy telecast appearances and tributes: Robert Randolph’s “Unclassified” (Warner) rose 459%; Warren Zevon’s “The Wind” (Artemis) swept up 355%; Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” (J Records) stepped up 283%; the Foo Fighters’ “One by One” spiked 227% and the White Stripes’ “Elephant” (V2) stomped out a 206% rise.

Sales soaring

Valentine’s week, traditionally one of the year’s strongest in music retailing, helped drive year-to-date sales growth into double figures. Overall album sales are up 13% from last year; total album sales are up 25% from the same week last year; and top 200 current album sales are up 37% from the same week last year.

The week also was the first time digital song sales have exceeded 2 million downloads in one week.

The holiday helped Harry Connick Jr. improve on his solid first-week sales: “Only You” (Columbia) dipped to No. 6 as sales rocketed 58% to 220,000 units.

Last week’s one-two, Kenny Chesney’s “When the Sun Goes Down” (BNA) and Incubus’ “A Crow Left of the Murder” (Immortal/Epic), both dipped. Chesney went to No. 3 on sales of 350,000 and Incubus did business of 125,000.

Etheridge’s “Lucky” (Island) led other debuts at No. 15 on 91,000, followed by Damageplan’s “New Found Power” (Elektra) at No. 38, 44,000 sold; the soundtrack to “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” (Capitol) at No. 39 with 44,000; Kylie Minogue’s “Body Language” (Capitol) No. 42, 43,000; Drag-On’s “Hell and Back” (Virgin) No. 47, 37,000; and Courtney Love’s “America’s Sweetheart” (Virgin) No. 53, 32,000.

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