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Country Music Scales Sales Growth

Country music continues to forge ahead. For the second consecutive year, country music experienced sales growth in 2002 while overall music sales declined a sharp 8.7 percent (following a 2.5 percent decline in 2001). Country music sales grew 12.28 percent in 2002 commanding 11.84 percent of total music sales for the year.

In 2001, Country had a 1.2 percent increase with 9.6 percent of total music sales according to figures released in Nielsen SoundScan's year-end music industry report.

For the first time ever, country music had a record seven albums topping the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart in 2002: Alan Jackson's Drive; Kenny Chesney's No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems; Toby Keith's Unleashed; the Dixie Chicks' roots-inspired Home; Elvis Presley's posthumous return with Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits; Faith Hill's Cry; and Shania Twain's Up!