Oops! … She Did It Again: Britney Spears Tops Albums Chart

Britney sells more than 745,000 copies its first week in stores.

Oops! … she did it yet again. The same thing keeps happening to pop princess Britney Spears — whenever she releases an album, it debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Spears’ Britney sold more than 745,000 copies its first week in stores, garnering her the top slot on next week’s chart, as well as the honor of having the second biggest debut of the year — behind ‘NSYNC’s Celebrity, which moved 1.88 million copies in its first week — according to SoundScan figures released Wednesday (November 14). Britney is, however, the year’s most successful debut by a female or females, trumping Destiny’s Child’s Survivor (663,000 copies in its first week) and Janet Jackson’s All for You (605,000).

Spears now holds the #1 and #2 slots for the biggest first-week sales by a female artist, with last year’s Oops! … I Did It Again, which moved 1.3 million units its first week, and Britney, respectively. Her debut LP, … Baby One More Time, also arrived atop all others when it was released in early 1999.

The pop singer crushed the rest of the chart competition, outselling next week’s #2 album, the debut of Pink Floyd’s Echoes – The Best of Pink Floyd, by more than 500,000.

Last week’s top two albums, Michael Jackson’s Invincible and Enrique Iglesias’ Escape, will each drop two places to make room for this week’s debuts. Jackson’s long-awaited LP will find itself at #3 with more than 202,000 copies sold, while the “Hero”-bolstered Escape follows right behind with more than 182,000 in sales.

Country king George Strait will have the only other debut in next week’s top 10, as his The Road Less Traveled lands at #9.

The rest of the top 10 will be rounded out by Enya’s A Day Without Rain at #5 for the second-straight week; DMX’s The Great Depression, falling three spots to #6; Backstreet Boys’ The Hits – Chapter One, which does the same to land at #7; Nickelback’s Silver Side Up, which slips two positions to #8; and Ja Rule’s Pain Is Love, which follows suit to slide to #10.

Hip-hop and R&B will dominate positions 11-20, buoyed by first-week appearances by North Carolina rapper Petey Pablo, whose Timbaland-assisted album Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry will enter the chart at #13; Faith Evans’ Faithfully trailing directly behind at #14; and “The Wash” soundtrack — which features new material from Busta Rhymes (“Holla”), Xzibit (“Get F***ed Up With Me”) and the film’s stars Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (“The Wash,” “On the Blvd.”) — at #19.

Next week’s top 20 surprise comes courtesy of the soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” a chart success this year with sales of more than 2.6 million that re-enters the chart’s top 10 percent at #16. The bluegrass and gospel LP’s jump from last week’s position at #30 might be attributed to its success at last week’s CMA Awards, where it took home numerous prizes, including Album of the Year.

Angie Stone’s Mahogany Soul, the follow-up her 1999 debut, Black Diamond, and which features Eve and Alicia Keys on the remix of first single “Brotha,” will debut on next week’s chart at #22.

Meanwhile, Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory will fall out of the top 10 for the first time since early September when it lands at #11; Usher’s 8701 will slip a spot to #12; the God Bless America compilation will slide eight spots to #15; Incubus’ Morning View will drop seven places to #17; Alicia Keys’ Songs in A Minor will drift five spots down to #18; and the compilation Totally Hits 2001 will bring up the rear at #20, after holding the #14 position this week.

Other notable chart debuts come from gospel quintet Third Day, whose Come Together will land at #31; classically classy crooner Tony Bennett, whose Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues will come in at #50; and Tupac protégés the Outlawz, whose Novakane features a posthumous appearance by Tupac on “World Wide Remix” and will settle at #100.

Chart leaders should watch their backs for the “Shrek” soundtrack — the LP boasting tracks by Smash Mouth and Leslie Carter will shoot from #74 to #36, following the film’s recent release to home video.

A few albums take mighty falls in next week’s chart: Lenny Kravitz’s Lenny, slipping 16 spots, will fall from its debut at #12 to #28; Jermaine Dupri’s Instructions, after debuting at #15, will skid to #31; and Three 6 Mafia’s Choices will take the biggest chart plummet, moving from last week’s opening slot at #19 to #39.

For full-length interviews with Britney Spears and Petey Pablo, check out “Britney Spears: Pop Rocks!” and “Petey Pablo: Raising The Bar.”