Dixie Chicks To Debut At #1 While Santana Close In

Female trio's fifth album, Fly, is first country album to top chart since May.

Country music will Fly back to the top of the Billboard

200 albums chart this week, courtesy of the Dixie Chicks.

The female trio, once dismissed by critics as country's answer to the

Spice Girls, sold 341,138 copies of their fifth album, Fly, last

week, according to sales figures released Wednesday (Sept. 9) by SoundScan.

That's enough to easily oust 18-year-old pop singer Christina Aguilera's

self-titled debut — which sold 217,685 copies — from the #1

spot on the chart when it's posted Thursday (Click here for top-10 chart).

Veteran Latin rock band Santana, meanwhile, will jump from #7 to #4 with

Supernatural, which features "Smooth" (RealAudio

excerpt), the band's biggest pop hit in nearly three decades.

Metal veterans Megadeth will debut at #16 with Risk, their eighth

studio album.

Rouding out the top 10 are: the Backstreet Boys' Millennium at #3;

thrash-rap band Limp Bizkit's Significant Other at #5; teen-pop

singer Britney Spears' ... Baby One More Time at #6;

rap-rocker Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause at #7; rapper Puff

Daddy's Forever at #8; pop singer Ricky Martin's Ricky Martin

at #9; and R&B singer Mary J. Blige's Mary at #10.

The Dixie Chicks album, which features the single "Ready to Run," follows

up Wide Open Spaces (1998), which made the trio stars. That album

won the Grammy Award for Best Country Album in February and has been

certified six-times platinum, for shipments of 6 million copies. It will

fall one spot to #28 on this week's chart.

"Ready to Run" is also on the soundtrack to the movie "Runaway Bride."

"The story behind the song," co-producer Blake Chancey said recently,

"is, 'If somebody ever asks me to get married again, I'll be ready —

ready to run.' She doesn't want to get married because 'All you ever want

to do is have fun.' That kind of stuff. It's a great little tune."

Fly will be the first country album to hit #1 since singer Tim

McGraw's A Place in the Sun debuted there in May.

The Santana album features collaborations with Dave Matthews, Wylcef

Jean, Everlast and Lauryn Hill. Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas sings on "Smooth,"

which is #6 this week on the Billboard Hot 100. It's the band's

highest-charting single since "Black Magic Woman," a Fleetwood Mac cover

that hit #4 in 1971.

"I never thought of selling albums, I never thought of paying the rent,"

bandleader Carlos Santana, 52, said in the spring. "I never think of

gasoline or food. Those things — it's just like air. I don't think

about bread, it just comes, and I don't measure how much air goes into

my lungs and comes out, you know?"

Megadeth's Risk features the single "Crush 'Em," which the band

recently performed on the televised wrestling program "WCW Monday Nitro."

Also debuting this week will be hip-hop soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence

comedy "Blue Streak" (#33); hip-hop group the Beatnuts' A Musical

Massacre (#35), which features cameos from rappers Common, Cuban

Link and Tony Touch; and Days of the New's self-titled second album

(#40), which bandleader Travis Meeks recorded with an entirely different

lineup than played on the band's hit 1997 debut, also self-titled.

No Limit Records rapper and frequent Snoop Dogg collaborator Magic will

debut at #53 with Thuggin', while the self-titled debut by

dance-pop singer Vitamin C, featuring the hit single "Smile" (RealAudio

excerpt), enters at #172. Vitamin C is a pseudonym for former

Eve's Plum singer Colleen Fitzpatrick.

And finally entering the chart, at #132, will be Dysfunction, by

Staind, a Springfield, Mass., metal band discovered by Limp Bizkit singer

Fred Durst. The album, released in April, sold 10,470 copies last week

— about 4,000 more than the week before — thanks in part to

airplay of the single "Mudshovel" on rock radio.