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"
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'
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
"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
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"
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
"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
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
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.