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CD Sales Up, Downloading Up, Usher Annoyingly Popular

Not only does Usher win, like, every single award at every single awards show, he’s also sold almost eight million(!) copies of his disc Confessions – easily sliding him into first place among the year’s top sellers. While the top slot on the Brit list was only won by about 500 sales, Usher dwarfed his competition, with #2 going to Norah Jones, who sold just under half as many copies of her latest effort, Feels Like Home.

Eminem’s Encore made an impressive entrance at #3, not bad considering it only hit the streets in November, while Usher and Norah have had all year to rack up sales. Rounding out the list of top sellers is a trio of country superstars, Top 40 crooners Maroon 5, Evanescence, pop-tart once-removed Ashlee Simpson and one of those Now compilations.

Neilsen SoundScan (the company that tracks music sales) also reports there has been a rejuvenation of record buying down south. That’s right, in 2004 CD sales were actually up 1.6 per cent – which, since all those evil internet music pirates have yet to be locked up by the RIAA, might not be the best news for the organization’s argument that illegal downloading is killing the industry.

Also adding to the record companies’ profits was the recent explosion in digital music sales, at 141 million tracks (up from 2003’s measly 19 million). Taken as a whole, the digital and CD sales hit 817 million purchases, which is a four-year high. Go Usher.

2004 top-sellers (according to SoundScan):

  • 1. Usher – Confessions – 7,978,594
  • 2. Norah Jones – Feels Like Home – 3,842,920
  • 3. Eminem – Encore – 3,517,097
  • 4. Kenny Chesney – When The Sun Goes Down – 3,072,224
  • 5. Gretchen Wilson – Here Comes The Party – 2,931,097
  • 6. Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying – 2,786,840
  • 7. Maroon 5 – Songs About Jane – 2,708,415
  • 8. Evanescence – Fallen – 2,614,226
  • 9. Ashlee Simpson – Autobiography – 2,576,945
  • 10. Now 16 – 2,560,316
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