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No. 1 spot testifies to India.Arie’s popularity

Times Staff Writer

FANS gave a hearty “Amen!” to R&B-pop; singer- songwriter India.Arie’s third effort, “Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship,” snapping up 161,000 copies during its first week in stores and placing it at No. 1 on the national album sales chart.

That’s the best first week figure ever for Arie, whose previous album, 2002’s “Voyage to India,” sold 109,000 copies and entered the chart at No. 6. The new collection, which includes her version of Don Henley’s “The Heart of the Matter,” probably benefited from exposure the singer got with a June 27 appearance on the BET Awards’ tribute to Chaka Khan.

Dashboard Confessional came in behind Arie at No. 2 on the weekly tally assembled from figures collected by the Nielsen SoundScan monitoring service, which reported first-week sales of 134,000 copies of the band’s new “Dusk and Summer.”

Barbados teen sensation Rihanna’s “A Girl Like Me” moved back into the Top 10, jumping from No. 12 to No. 5 after the 18-year-old’s debut album sold 62,000 more copies last week. R&B;/hip-hop duo Gnarls Barkley also moved up the chart two positions, to No. 6, as its “St. Elsewhere” album moved 59,000 copies.

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Rapper Shawnna, from Disturbing Tha Peace, entered the chart at No. 13 with her album “Block Music,” which sold 47,000 copies. And country veteran Hank Williams Jr. saw his best sales week in years with “That’s How They Do It In Dixie: The Essential Collection,” a hits compilation that bows at No. 16 on sales of 39,000 copies.


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