'NSYNC To Top Chart With 1.88 Million Celebritys Sold

Record's first-week sales surpass every SoundScan-era album — except band's own No Strings Attached.

'NSYNC will barnstorm the Billboard 200 albums chart next week after selling 1.88 million copies of Celebrity — first-week sales surpassing those of every SoundScan-era album except their own No Strings Attached.

Celebrity sold nearly 10 times as many copies as next week's #2 album, Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor, which moved an otherwise impressive 202,000 units.

Justin Timberlake said last week he didn't expect Celebrity to beat the first-week sales of his group's prior album (see "'NSYNC Seek To Impress With Skills, Not Sales") and blamed a slumping economy.

"All that stuff, we really don't take it into consideration," Timberlake said. "We wanna stick around for longer than the first week."

No Strings Attached sold 2.4 million copies its first week out in March 2000. It broke the previous SoundScan record set by Backstreet Boys' Millennium, which sold 1.1 million copies when it debuted in 1999. BSB sold 1.6 million copies of Black & Blue its first week last year.

Among next week's higher debuts will be Violator the Album: V2.0, featuring Busta Rhymes' "What It Is," at #10 and Cake's Comfort Eagle, which includes the surprise video hit "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," at #13.

Singer/songwriter Neil Diamond's first new album in five years, Three Chord Opera, will debut at #15, while Arizona emo heroes Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American will land at #54.

The rest of the top 10 will consist of D12's Devils Night at #3, Staind's Break the Cycle at #4, Aaliyah at #5, Destiny's Child's Survivor at #6, P. Diddy's The Saga Continues at #7, Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory at #8 and Jagged Edge's Jagged Little Thrill at #9.

Beyond Celebrity, the sales news was mixed on the teen-pop front. LFO's Life Is Good will jump a full 20 spots next week, from #95 to #75, while Mandy Moore will hop from #109 to #93.

Jessica Simpson's Irresistible will continue to slide, slipping from #51 to #64 and Willa Ford's Willa Was Here will plunge from #56 to #76 in its second week on the chart.

No Strings Attached itself will see some chart movement next week, skipping from #110 to #95.

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