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Ne-Yo’s “In My Own Words” posted the biggest sales week of the year, selling 301,000 copies in its debut sesh, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was the biggest sales week for a rookie act since Jan. 23, 2005, when the Game’s “The Documentary” sold more than 587,000 units in its first week.

A heavy slew of TV appearances, including “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” helped propel the album, as did the radio hit “So Sick.” Unlike other recent hip-hop hits, “So Sick” was not available as a digital download prior to the album’s release. However, the song has already sold 500,000 ringtones, per Ne-Yo’s label, Island Def Jam.

A lyricist inspired by Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, Ne-Yo’s songs have appeared on albums by Mary J. Blige, B2K, Faith Evans, Musiq and Mario.

Victory Records rockers Hawthorne Heights posted their personal best by selling 114,000 copies of “If Only You Were Lonely” in its first stanza. Disc, the band’s second, opened at No. 3. Hawthorne Heights enjoyed heavy online promotional boosts from AOL Music and Yahoo! Music. From March 15 to May 13, HH will join Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects and others on a North American arena tour dubbed Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour ’06.

A slot lower was Alan Jackson’s collection of inspirational tunes, “Precious Memories” (Arista Nashville), which opened with sales of 107,000.

Kid Rock’s “Live Trucker” (Atlantic) was the only other debut in the top 50, selling 56,000 copies to open at No. 12.

Other debuts included Hank Williams III’s “Straight to Hell” (Curb), selling 14,000 (No. 73); Conjunto Primavera’s “Algo de Mi” (Fonovisa), selling 13,000 (No. 82); and Bruce Springsteen’s “Hammersmith Odeon Live ’75” (Columbia), selling 12,000 (No. 93).

The release of “Walk the Line” on DVD delivered a healthy sales spike to the soundtrack and Johnny Cash recordings. “Legend of Johnny Cash” (Island/Columbia Legacy) rose 14 slots to No. 6, selling 80,000 copies. Wind-up’s soundtrack to the pic rose to No. 11 from No. 45 on sales of 57,000, and Columbia’s “16 Biggest Hits” by Johnny and June Carter Cash sold 9,000 copies (No. 126).

Last week’s trifecta of kid-oriented records had a variety of results. Disney’s “High School Musical” saw sales rise about 25% to 128,000 as the disc slid to No. 2; Jack Johnson’s “Curious George” soundtrack had an 18% dip on sales of 73,000 (No. 7); and “Kidz Bop Vol. 9” slid 60%, selling 39,000 and landing at No. 23.