Even though most of its songs have toppled off the singles charts, a compilation featuring pop stars Jennifer Lopez, Macy Gray and Hanson will lead the Billboard 200 albums chart for the second week in a row, according to SoundScan sales figures released Wednesday (Aug. 2).
After selling 320,490 copies its opening week making it the first nonsoundtrack compilation of previously released songs to debut at #1 the fourth volume of the Now That's What I Call Music! series sold 258,164 last week.
Bob Mercer, senior vice president at UTV Records, which released the compilation, said the success of the hit-packed series reflects the nature of today's music market.
"It's been a strong singles market, and a strong youth-driven singles market," he said.
Britney Spears' Oops! ... I Did It Again (RealAudio excerpt of title track) holds on to #2, while rapper Nelly moves up one spot to #3 with Country Grammar, followed by hip-hop heavyweight Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP and *NSync's No Strings Attached, which rises from #7.
Rock bands Papa Roach (Infest), Creed (Human Clay) and 3 Doors Down (Better Life) take the #6, #7 and #8 spots, respectively, followed by the R&B-heavy soundtrack to "The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps." Rounding out the top 10 will be Riding With the King, featuring Eric Clapton and B.B. King.
This week's top debut is Eve 6's sophomore offering, Horrorscope, which bows at #34. No other new releases cracked the top 50.
Meanwhile, hip-hop collective the Ruff Ryders' Ryde or Die Vol. II continues to lose steam, dropping to #12, two weeks after breaking the top five.
Big movers in the opposite direction include country songstress Faith Hill, whose Breathe continues a renewed surge up the chart, climbing 10 spots to #25 in her 38th week on the list. Former Police frontman Sting's Brand New Day (RealAudio excerpt of title track) rises from #20 to #13, and British pop trio BBMak's freshman outing, Sooner or Later, climbs to #38, leaping 19 spots over the past two weeks.
(This story was updated at 9:24 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2000.)