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‘Now’ tops chart for third week

Spears, Nelly stay at 2,3 spots; 'N Sync sees big jump

For the third straight week, the current hits compilation “Now That’s What I Call Music — Vol. 4” (Universal Music Enterprises) retained the top spot on the national music charts, shifting more than 239,000 units in the week ended Aug. 6, according to sales data released Wednesday.

Britney Spears’ “Oops! … I Did It Again” (Jive) and male rapper Nelly’s “Country Grammar” (Fo’ Real/Universal) both moved more than 237,000 copies with Spears’ disc edging Nelly’s for the second spot by a mere 48 units. Nelly’s album was the week’s biggest sales gainer, however, up more than 14,000 copies.

Other sales jumps

The week’s other major sales gains were posted by ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached” (Jive), up more than 11,000 units, while Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” (Aftermath/Interscope), rock group Creed’s “Human Clay” (Wind-up/Universal) and R&B vocalist Yolanda Adams’ “Mountain High Valley Low” (Elektra) all took more than 8,000-unit jumps with Adams’ numbers fueled by the success of her “Open My Heart” single.

Joining ‘N Sync, Eminem and Creed in the top 10 were holdovers Papa Roach’s “Infest” (DreamWorks), 3 Doors Down’s “Better Life” (Republic/Universal), and the various artists’ “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” (Def Soul) soundtrack, all of which moved more than 101,000 units. The sole newcomer to the top 10 was Sting’s resurgent “Brand New Day” (A&M), which — paced by the “Desert Rose” single — sold more than 75,000 copies.

Top debuts of the week were rapper Big L’s sophomore album, “Big Picture” (Rawkus/Priority), which sold more than 72,000 copies to land at No. 13; and femme country vocalist Jo Dee Messina’s third album, “Burn” (Curb/Atlantic), which moved more than 61,000 copies — good for No. 19.

Universal won the weekly battle for current album market share with 32.2%, trailed by BMG, 17.8%; Warners, 14%; Sony, 11.5%; and EMI, 7.9%.

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