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
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,
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
to SoundScan figures, for instance, though the RIAA lists sales for each
album at 10 million.