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Michael Jackson's ''Invincible'' debuts at No. 1

Plus, news about Richard Harris, Sting, Christian Slater, Bill Bellamy, Tom Hanks, Wayne Brady, Laurie Metcalf, Rose McGowan, and others

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Chris Tucker, Michael Jackson

SOUND BITES Michael Jackson really is the King of Pop, at least this week, as his ”Invincible” premieres at No. 1 on the Billboard chart, beating other strong debuts by Enrique Iglesias (No. 2), Backstreet Boys (No. 4), and Lenny Kravitz (No. 12). ”Invincible” sold 366,275 copies, according to SoundScan. For those keeping score at home, that’s less than the 440,000 copies DMX sold with last week’s No. 1 debut, ”The Great Depression”; less than the 605,000 sister Janet Jackson‘s ”All for You” sold its first week earlier this year; and less even than the 391,000 first-week sales Jacko’s own 1995 ”HIStory,” which would go on to sell just 2.1 million copies. However, that doesn’t count the copies ”Invincible” sold in foreign countries, a dozen of which also saw the CD debut at No. 1.

Iglesias’ ”Escape,” in second place, sold 267,300 copies. DMX slipped to No. 3, selling 213,775. At No. 4, Backstreet’s ”Greatest Hits: Chapter One” sold 197,400. Enya‘s ”A Day Without Rain” dropped two spots to No. 5 (161,225 copies).

The rest of the top 10 included such holdovers as Nickelback‘s ”Silver Side Up” at No. 6, benefit compilation ”God Bless America” at No. 7, Ja Rule‘s ”Pain Is Love” at No. 8, Linkin Park‘s ”Hybrid Theory” at No. 9, and Incubus‘ ”Morning View,” which plunged eight spots to No. 10. Expect changes next week with a challenge to Jacko’s invincibility from Britney Spears‘ ”Britney,” which is expected to debut with Jackson-like numbers — Janet Jackson-like, that is….

Old-time country music shone at last night’s Country Music Association Awards, where the ”O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack won album of the year, and its ”I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” won single of the year. Tim McGraw won the top prize, entertainer of the year. Male and female vocalists of the year honors went to Toby Keith and Lee Ann Womack, Brooks and Dunn won vocal duo of the year. ”Murder on Music Row” won song of the yaar. Vocal event of the year was ”Too Country,” by the combo of Brad Paisley, George Jones, Bill Anderson and Buck Owens. Vince Gill, hosting for the 10th time, presided over a subdued event at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House, which aired live on CBS. ”I think we’re seeing a return to traditional country music,” said Jones, 70, backstage. ”I’m not talking about cornball stuff, either. We need to get back to the basics.”

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