Groban’s sales climb

Super Bowl performer unseats Outkast

HOLLYWOOD — Josh Groban, the big-voiced David Foster discovery who has charmed PBS and talkshow auds, took over the No. 1 album slot for the first time in his career as his Warner disc “Closer” sold 111,000 copies in the week ended Sunday.

Released nine weeks ago, “Closer” leaped from 11th place, posting a sales increase of nearly 30,000. “Closer,” Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love,” Michael Jackson’s “Number Ones” and the Darkness’ “Permission to Land” were the only albums in the top 50 to post sales increases.

Groban, who will sing his hit “You Raise Me Up” at Super Bowl XXXVIII on Feb. 1, begins his first international tour Jan. 22 in Boise, Idaho. He has sold out 39 of the first 40 dates that were initially scheduled; he is now playing Radio City Music Hall for three nights — April 1-3. He will be at L.A.’s Shrine on Jan. 30.

Groban unseated Outkast’s “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” (La Face/Arista), which dipped to No. 3 on sales of 102,000. The rap duo’s two-CD set sold a mere 328 units fewer than “The Diary of Alicia Keys” (J Records), which holds the No. 2 slot for the third week in a row.

The top 10’s players shifted subtly: No Doubt’s “Singles 1992-2003” (Interscope) and Toby Keith’s “Shock’n Y’all” (DreamWorks) rose on sales of 89,000 and 81,000, respectively; Sheryl Crow’s “Very Best of” (A&M), Ruben Studdard’s “Soulful” (J), Evanesence’s “Fallen” (Wind-up) and Jay-Z’s “Black Album” (Def Jam) all slid on sales of between 80,000 and 57,000.

Jackson’s “Number Ones” (Epic) climbed 24 slots to No. 15 on sales of 47,000 as the DVD of “Number Ones” topped the musicvideo chart. Jackson’s album of hits also was the No. 1 seller on the Internet sales chart, which Sony Music attributed to the direct marketing group’s ads that ran during his CBS special Jan. 2.

Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love” rose to 11 from 23, selling 55,000 copies; the Darkness, nominated this week for four Brit Awards, saw its Atlantic disc rise 53 slots to No. 39 on sales of 25,000.

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