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Brandy Blocked From #1 Slot By 'O Brother' Soundtrack

The man of constant sorrow should have plenty of cause to celebrate, though Brandy might be kind of crabby. After 63 weeks on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack will levitate to #1, beating out the R&B crooner, who seemed headed for a chart-topping debut. Last week, O Brother, which has sold over 4 million copies since its December 2000 release, jumped from #15 to #2 after being graced with a Grammy for Album of the Year. While the album will move up on the chart with sales of 160,000 copies, it sold around 50,000 fewer copies last week than when record stores were abuzz with Grammy fever right after the ceremony.

Brandy will have to settle for the #2 slot next week with her third album, Full Moon, which sold more than 155,000 copies.

Anyone who thought Alanis Morissette would be swept under the rug after her #1 debut last week underestimated the singer. The Canadian alt-rock queen’s Under Rug Swept will hang tough at #3 this week, moving nearly 120,000 units. Linkin Park, the rap-metal hybrid who sold more records last year than any other band, will hop up a notch to #4, selling an additional 86,000-plus copies. To date, the Grammy-winning Hybrid Theory has sold nearly 6.5 million albums.

Most of this year’s Grammy winners will actually undergo a bit of post-celebration exhaustion. Alicia Keys’ Songs in A Minor will slide three spots to #7, selling just over 76,000; U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind will drop seven to #17, moving more than 56,000; Train’s Drops of Jupiter will drop 11 to #48 and Nelly Furtado’s Whoa, Nelly! will fall nine to #47. Grammy performers will suffer similar fates: India.Arie’s Acoustic Soul will dip nine spots to #23 and Bob Dylan’s Love and Theft will tumble like a rolling stone down a steep hill from #72 to #143.

Two weeks ago, Jennifer Lopez topped the chart with her remix record J to Tha L-O! This week, the album will continue its downward slide, dropping one position to #8, selling just over 76,000 copies. The #9 position will be grasped by English pop sensation Kylie Minogue, whose Fever will drop six spots, selling close to 74,000. Pink’s Missundaztood will fall one position, but hang onto the bottom rung of the top 10, selling almost 70,000.

The most dramatic chart-jumpers this week demonstrate a classic confrontation between good and evil. Ant-snorter, bat-biter and all around crazy guy Ozzy Osbourne will watch his latest album, Down to Earth, leap 52 positions to #93, thanks to the rampant success of his bizarre “Seinfeld”-meets-“The Real World”-style sitcom, “The Osbournes.” On a related note, 1919 Eternal, the new album by Ozzy’s guitarist Zakk Wylde, who is managed by Sharon Osbourne, will debut at #149, due in no small part to commercials that ran throughout “The Osbournes.”

But John Tesh’s Deeper Faith will trample Ozzy, vaulting 95 positions to #56. In a mysterious trend, other spiritual albums will enjoy similar rewards. Eleventh Hour, the latest album by Christian rock band Jars of Clay, will debut at #28, gospel group Mercy Me’s Almost There will ascend 20 to #75, and the compilation Songs 4 Worship will jump 14 to #95.

The largest chart dives this week go to Injected’s Burn It Black, which will drop 45 to #194, and Phantom Planet’s The Guest, which will fall 42 spots to #175 (Jason Schwartzman should probably keep his day job). One time chart-toppers Wu-Tang Clan will plummet 39 positions to #192 with Iron Flag, and the Moulin Rouge 2 soundtrack will fall 30 to #120.

Interesting debuts include an independently released album featuring punkers NOFX and Rancid, Split Series 3, which will debut at #147, and indie rockers White Stripes, whose album White Blood Cells was just re-issued by V2 and will debut at #185. Teen pop singer Aaron Carter’s Oh Aaron hangs onto the chart with the #200 spot, falling five.

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