Chart preview: How powerful is Oprah? Can she push Whitney back to No. 1?
Or does Jay-Z's 'Blueprint' plan to stay on top?
Despite a major sales surge following Whitney Houston's two-day appearance on "Oprah Winfrey," she still can't kick Jay-Z out of the top spot. The rapper is on target to stay at No. 1 for the second consecutive week next week with sales of around 250,000 copies. Houston, after falling from around 300,000 in sales two weeks ago to 88,000 last week, sees a 70,000-piece bump due to her TV appearance. She moves from No. 3 to No. 2 behind "Blueprint 3."
Though newcomers are locked out of the top two spots, a number of just-released CDs will have strong showings, according to Hits Daily Double. British rockers Muse enter the chart at No. 3, innovative rapper Kid Cudi breaks in at No. 4, Lil Wayne protégé Drake is No. 6 or 7, while Lil Boosie sneaks in around No. 9.
The wild card here is Pearl Jam's "Backspacer," which comes out Sunday via Target, iTunes and other independent retailers, making its first day of sales eligible for next week's chart (the Nielsen SoundScan chart runs Monday-Sunday).
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