Backstreet Boys Top-Selling Recording Artists Of Year

Women otherwise dominate, with big sales by Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion.

Pop group the Backstreet Boys are the best-selling recording artists of

1999, the Recording Industry Association of America said Tuesday (Dec.


During the year, the boy band sold 10 million copies of its newest album,

Millennium, as well as 3 million copies of its previous release,

Backstreet Boys (1997), according to the RIAA, the industry group

that tracks such figures.

"This has been another phenomenal year for the Backstreet Boys, proving

that their sensational rookie year was no fluke," RIAA President Hilary

Rosen said in a statement.

Despite the Backstreet Boys' dominance, 1999 will go down as the year of

the women.

Teen-pop star Britney Spears was the year's second-best-selling artist,

as well as the top-selling female artist, with 10 million copies sold of

her debut album, ... Baby One More Time, featuring

the title track (RealAudio

excerpt), according to the RIAA. Spears and the Backstreet Boys

each received Diamond Awards for their most recent albums, signifying more

than 10 million copies sold.

Other top-selling female artists included Shania Twain, whose Come On

Over was the year's best-selling country album with 9 million copies

sold, even though it was released two years ago. The Dixie Chicks sold a

combined total of 8 million copies of their two albums, Wide Open

Spaces and Fly, while Mariah Carey and Celine Dion had 6 million

in sales apiece.

The year's three best-selling rock albums were Supernatural, the

comeback effort from veteran Latin-rock group Santana, and two rock-rap

efforts, Kid Rock's Devil Without a Cause (1998) and Limp Bizkit's

Significant Other. All three albums sold 5 million copies each,

according to the RIAA.

TLC's Fanmail, with 5 million copies sold, and Lauryn Hill's

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), with 4 million copies sold,

were the best-selling R&B/hip-hop albums of 1999.

Latin-pop singer Ricky Martin was the year's best-selling male solo artist,

with 6 million copies sold of his self-titled English-language debut,

according to the industry group.

Rapper Eminem, with pop singers Lou Bega and Christina Aguilera, had the

year's most successful debuts. Aguilera sold 4 million copies of her album,

while Eminem and Bega sold 3 million copies of theirs.

The RIAA bases its figures on shipments to retailers, not retail sales.

The latter numbers are significantly lower, for the most part.

Consumers have purchased 8.2 million copies of Millennium and 7.3

million copies of ... Baby One More Time, according

to SoundScan figures, for instance, though the RIAA lists sales for each

album at 10 million.