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Pop / Rock 10/08/2001

THE CHARTS: 'NOW' Holds 'N Sync To 1 Week At No. 1

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NY (Top40 Charts) - The seventh volume of the "NOW! That's What I Call Music" (EMI/Universal/Sony/Zomba/Virgin) hit compilation series sold 621,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week, according to SoundScan, more than enough to oust 'N Sync's "Celebrity" (Jive) from the top of The Billboard 200 after just one week.

"NOW! 7," the third in the series to bow at No. 1 on the chart, has the highest opening sales of any of its predecessors, topping the 525,000 units "NOW! 6" sold in its debut week five-and-a-half months ago. That set remains on The Billboard 200, resting at No. 40, and has sold about 2.8 million units to date. "NOW! 4," released last July, was first compilation album of previously released material to top The Billboard 200.

In its second week at retail, sales of "Celebrity" fell 75% to 460,000 copies, the largest second-week sales decline in the SoundScan era. Of course, its first-week numbers were an almighty 1.42 million, and in just two weeks the album has sold more than 2.3 million copies. This week, the album slips to No. 2; first single "Pop," however, slips 62-73 on The Billboard Hot 100.

Snoop Dogg's crew Tha Eastsidaz have a powerful sophomore outing with "Duces 'N Trayz - The Old Fashioned Way" (TVT), howling its way to No. 4 on The Billboard 200 with 116,000 units sold. The hearty outing doubles the first-week chart position from last year's self-titled bow, which arrived at No. 8 on the strength of 100,000 units, and has sold 839,000 to date. "Duces 'N Trazy" opens at No. 2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Independent Albums tally.

Newcomer Blu Cantrell impressively introduces herself to The Billboard 200 at No. 8 with "So Blue" (Arista/RedZone) and bows at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Album tally. Her single, "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops)" moves back up to No. 3 on the Hot 100 and No. 34 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

While the film may be setting box office records, the Def Jam soundtrack to "Rush Hour 2" doesn't quite top the No. 7 entrance by the companion set to the first film in the franchise. Fueled by the hit Ludacris single "Area Codes" featuring Redman, the set sold 69,000 units to speed its way to No. 11 on The Billboard 200. The first "Rush Hour" set has sold. 1.4 million to date.

Other noteworthy album chart debuts include Gangsta Boo's "Both Worlds *69" (Hypnotic Minds/Loud) at No. 29; Bilal's "1st Born Second" (Moyo/Interscope) at No. 31; the Crystal Method's "Tweekend" (Outpost/Geffen) at No. 32; Tha Dogg Pound's "Death Row Presents: Tha Dogg Pound 2002" (Death Row) at No. 36; and Blake Shelton's self-titled Warner Bros. debut at No. 45. The Crystal Method set also lands at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart.

Alicia Keys' single "Fallin'" has moved into the top slot on the Hot 100 in its tenth week on the chart. "Fallin'" also rises to No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally, while her J Records debut, "Songs in A Minor," drops 2-3 on The Billboard 200. Last week's Hot 100 No. 1, Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious," falls to No. 5.

The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at radio this week is Jennifer Lopez's "I'm Real," which jumps 9-4, while her album, "J. Lo" (Epic), scoots 17-12 on The Billboard 200. The Hot 100's fastest-growing track at retail is Coo Coo Cal's "My Projects," which rises 93-81 and strolls 37-26 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally. The cut is also No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart.

The top debut on the Hot 100 this week is Afroman's "Because I Got High" at No. 67. Other notable debuts include Nelly Furtado's "Turn Off the Light" at No. 69, Tim McGraw's "Angry All the Time" at No. 70, Nivea's "Don't Mess with the Radio" at No. 90, and Lil' Bow Wow's "Ghetto Girls at No. 91.

Despite having the No. 1 song on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks tally with "Austin," Blake Shelton isn't able to make it past the longstanding cinematic entries on top of Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. His self-titled Warner Bros. release lands at No. 3, behind the Curb soundtrack to "Coyote Ugly" and the Mercury soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" The latter set is No. 1 for a sixteenth non-consecutive week.

Staind's "It's Been Awhile" wasn't able to stay any longer atop Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, falling to No. 2 after 16 weeks, tying a longevity record set by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with "Scar Tissue." Snotty young punks Sum 41 take over at No. 1 with "Fat Lip." "It's Been Awhile" is, however, No. 1 atop Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks tally for a 17th straight week. *** Janet, Destiny's Child, Dido For MTV Europe Awards Berlin, Germany (Top40 Charts) - Janet Jackson, Destiny's Child, and Dido are the first acts confirmed to perform at the eighth-annual MTV Europe Music Awards 2001. The event, to be shown live on MTV and rebroadcast on the U.K.'s Channel 4 and Germany's RTL2, will be held Nov. 8 at the Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany. Additional performers will be confirmed in the coming weeks, while nominees will be announced Sept. 25.
"This is the start of a fantastic line-up for the 8th annual MTV Europe Music Awards," MTV Networks Europe president/chief executive Brent Hansen said in a statement. "I'm delighted that Destiny's Child, Dido, and Janet Jackson will be performing at the awards - the high caliber of the artists illustrates the importance of the event and reinforces its position as Europe's premier music awards show."

Madonna and Eminem were the big winners at last year's event, held in Stockholm and hosted by Wyclef Jean. Madonna's Maverick album "Music" helped her pick up prizes for best dance artist and best female artist, while Eminem won for best hip-hop artist, and saw his "The Marshall Mathers LP" (Web/Aftermath/Interscope) named best album. Backstreet Boys were named best group, while Red Hot Chili Peppers took best rock act honors.

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