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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 11:33 GMT
Rapper 50 Cent storms US chart
50 Cent
50 Cent: Signed to Eminem's label for a reported $1m
Rapper 50 Cent, a protégé of Eminem and one of the most hotly-tipped new artists of 2003, has shot to number one in the United States album chart.

His latest CD, Get Rich or Die Trying, sold 872,000 copies in its first week of release - ahead of the Dixie Chicks at number two, who sold 114,000.

US TOP FIVE ALBUMS
Dixie Chicks
1. 50 Cent - Get Rich or Die Trying
2. Dixie Chicks (above) - Home
3. Kid Rock - Cocky
4. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
5. Avril Lavigne - Let Go
Source: Billboard
50 Cent - who was arrested on gun charges in January - has notched up the third biggest-selling first-week sales for a rap album in chart history, behind two Eminem releases.

His chart success comes after being named winner of BBC News Online's Sound of 2003 poll to find the year's hottest new artists.

50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, is signed to Eminem's Shady Records and the album was produced by Eminem and Dr Dre.

Its release was forced forward by one week after bootleggers got hold of it, and his success comes after several years of trying to break through.

From Queens, New York, he was once the protégé of former Run-DMC DJ Jam Master Jay, who was shot dead in October 2002.

He says he was born into a "drug dynasty"; he survived being shot nine times in 2000 and has had public spats with a string of rival rappers.

At the end of January, one person was arrested for inciting a riot as thousands of ticketless fans turned up for a 50 Cent show in San Francisco.


Get Rich or Die Trying is released in the UK on Monday.

The US first-week sales record for a rap album was set by Eminem's Marshall Mathers LP when it sold 1.76 million in June 2000.

The Eminem Show sold 1.32 million in its first full week in 2002, but 50 Cent beat the 803,000 tally achieved by Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle in 1993.

In the last week, The Dixie Chicks' Home was pushed down to number two while Kid Rock's Cocky jumped to three, its highest position yet.

Jazz sensation Norah Jones slipped two places to four, while Canadian teen singer Avril Lavigne was at five.

See also:

02 Jan 03 | Entertainment
24 Dec 02 | Entertainment
23 Dec 02 | Entertainment
27 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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