Eminem Sells, Michael Jackson Protests
Eminem is making the news again -- this time for scoring the largest single-week sales total so far this year for his latest CD, "The Eminem Show," which sold 1.3 million albums in its first full week, according to industry figures released on Wednesday. The CD, the third by the 29-year-old controversial rapper, has sold more than 1.6 million copies since its May 26 release date, according to the Hollywood Reporter -- proof that, despite the recording industry's piracy fears, consumers still want to pay for music. (Interscope Records moved up the release date of "The Eminem Show" twice because it said bootleg copies were already widely available.) Meanwhile, Michael Jackson, 43, has joined a coalition headed by political activist the Rev. Al Sharpton and attorney Johnnie Cochran (best known for defending O.J. Simpson in his murder trial), which is demanding that record companies "start treating their artists with respect, honor and financial justice," reports The New York Times. The group joins similar efforts by other artists, such as Courtney Love, who is locked in a court battle with her record company over her claim that her band, Hole, is stuck in a contract that violates California labor laws. Of course, the paper reports, it's no coincidence that Jackson's last album for Sony's Epic label, "Invincible," didn't quite live up to its name, selling only 2 million copies in the United States and 5 million internationally. By comparison, Jackson's 1982 effort, "Thriller," sold 23 million copies domestically and 46 million worldwide -- but it came before Jackson's career began a downward spiral after several public embarrassments. Sony executives declined comment to The Times, as did reps for Jackson.
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