Christina Aguilera Tops Puff Daddy With #1 Album In U.S.

Albums by Noreaga, Sevendust, Filter, Prince, LFO also debut this week.

The teen dream that is pop music in 1999 has another star, as 18-year-old

Christina Aguilera's self-titled first album will easily beat out rap

superstar Puff Daddy's Forever to debut at #1 on this week's

Billboard 200 albums chart (click here

for the top-10 chart).

Pop fans bought 252,800 copies of the former New Mickey Mouse Club member's

first album, which includes the smash single "Genie in a Bottle"

(RealAudio

excerpt), in the week ending Sunday, according to sales figures

released Wednesday (Sept. 1) by SoundScan.

"She's doing really well for us," said Tiffany Neal, the general manager

of a Camelot Records store in Milwaukee. "She's gotten a lot of television

exposure. She's been on a lot of the late-night talk shows lately. That

always sparks interest."

Forever, Puff Daddy's follow-up to No Way Out (1997), one

of the most commercially successful hip-hop albums ever, sold 205,343

copies and will debut at #2. The Billboard chart, posted each

Thursday, is based on SoundScan sales numbers for the previous week.

The rest of the top 10 will read this way: The Backstreet Boys'

Millennium, which was #1 last week and most of the summer, will

drop to #3; thrash-rappers Limp Bizkit's Significant Other, #4;

soul singer Mary J. Blige's Mary, #5; teen star Britney Spears'

... Baby One More Time, #6; rock veteran Santana's

Supernatural, #7; rap-rocker Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause,

#8; rapper Noreaga's Melvin Flynt — Da Hustler, #9, and

Latin pop singer Ricky Martin's Ricky Martin, #10.

Also debuting this week are hard-rock offerings by Sevendust and Filter,

more teen pop by LFO and a collection of previously unreleased Prince

songs.

"Genie in a Bottle" lost the #1 position on last week's Billboard

Hot 100 to singer Enrique Iglesias' "Bailamos," but that hasn't stopped

Aguilera from becoming the latest in a line of teen-oriented song-and-dance

acts to hit #1 in 1999. Spears, another former member of the New Mickey

Mouse Club, debuted at #1 in January with ... Baby One

More Time, which has been certified six-times platinum by the Recording

Industry Association of America and is the best-selling album ever by a

teenage female artist, according to the association.

Aguilera, who has lived in Japan, Florida and Texas and now lives in New

York, performed on the former TV show "Star Search" at age 8. She also

sang "Reflection" on the 1998 soundtrack to the Walt Disney film "Mulan."

Her album didn't do as well at the Tower Records in Hollywood as in other

parts of the country, though. The record, according to pop buyer Howard

Krumholtz, finished at #8 on the store's top-10 list last week, coming in

behind Me'Shell NdegeOcello's Bitter (#1), the Cuban-inspired

Buena Vista Social Club (#7) and others.

Krumholtz credited the difference to the store's eclectic customer base.

"We're known as a catalog store," he said. "Our customers are interested

in albums ... and stuff that sometimes falls out of the mainstream."

The rapper Aguilera beat out for the #1 slot, Puff Daddy, followed his

six-times-platinum No Way Out with the release last week of his

second album, Forever. The project includes "PE 2000"

(RealAudio

excerpt) — a remake of Public Enemy's 1987 song "Public

Enemy Number 1" — and "Angels With Dirty Faces," which samples

Earth, Wind and Fire's "Fantasy."

Carlos Broady, one of the eight producers who make up the Hitmen, Bad

Boy Entertainment's in-house production team, said last week that the

album would surprise people who were expecting another light barrage of

1980s samples.

"There's a street element for the hard-core fans," Broady said. "It's

not lyrical battles so much as it's the uniqueness and lyrical skills

he displays."

Noreaga's Melvin Flynt — Da Hustler will be the next-highest

debut this week, at #9. The Queens, N.Y., native, barely out of his teens

himself at 21, dedicated the album to his father, Victor Mambo Santiago,

who died of a heart attack last year.

"My father was the only role model I had," said Noreaga, who grieves for

his father on "Sometimes" (RealAudio

excerpt). "I didn't grow up wanting to be like Michael Jordan or

all these other people that are big factors, big figures in life. I grew

up wanting to be like my father" (RealAudio excerpt of

interview).

Melvin Flynt — Da Hustler is Noreaga's second top-10 album.

His N.O.R.E. peaked at #3 in 1998. He is scheduled to reunite

with his partner, Capone, for a Capone-n-Noreaga album due in November.

Filter's Title of Record will enter the chart at #30, while

The Vault: Old Friends 4 Sale, a collection of studio tracks

recorded by Prince between 1985 and 1994, will come in at #85. Prince

dropped his name in the early '90s and is now widely known as The Artist.

Other notable debuts will come from Sevendust, whose Home will

enter at #19, and teen-pop group LFO, whose self-titled debut, featuring

the hit "Summer Girls," will hit #21. A Little Bit of Mambo by

Latino singer Lou Bega, whose "Mambo #5" is the #1 song in England, will

land at #42. Country singers Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris' Western

Wall: The Tucson Sessions, which features an appearance by rocker

Neil Young, will appear at #73, while Bitter, singer/songwriter

NdegeOcello's third album, enters at #105.

Santana's Supernatural continues to climb on the strength of the

single "Smooth," which features Matchbox 20 singer Rob Thomas. The album

will move from #10 to #7.