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For Now at Least, LL Cool J Is the 'Greatest'

September 21, 2000|ROBERT HILBURN

Veteran New York rap star LL Cool J's "G.O.A.T."--which stands for "Greatest of All Time"--lived up at least partially to its boastful title Wednesday when it entered the national sales chart at No. 1.

The Def Jam release, which sold an estimated 209,000 copies last week during its first week in stores, led a trio of new albums into the Top 10, according to SoundScan. The others were Boyz II Men's "Nathan, Michael, Shawn, Wayna," which finished No. 4 with sales of 133,000, and the Bare-naked Ladies' "Maroon," which is No. 5 thanks to sales of 128,000.

But LL Cool J's album isn't likely to enjoy a long stay at the top. Madonna's "Music," which was released Tuesday, is expected to sell around 350,000 copies this week, according to one major retailer. That should let it enter the charts at No. 1 with ease. The title track from her album continues its hold at No. 1 on the singles chart.

Nelly's "Country Grammar," which had been No. 1 for four weeks, dropped to second this week, followed by Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP." Another veteran rapper, Too $hort, finished at No. 12 after selling about 82,000 copies during its first week.

Christina Aguilera's Spanish-language album, "Mi Reflejo," sold about 43,000 copies during its first week in stores, enough to rank at No. 27 on the national chart. That's about what retailers had predicted for the singer, who performed on the Latin Grammys telecast last week. Aguilera's self-titled English-language debut still ranks No. 22 after more than a year on the charts, selling about 45,000 copies last week. The album's total is now past the 6.5-million mark.

Shakira, who also performed on the Latin Grammy telecast, saw her "MTV Unplugged" album return to the charts at No. 156 and her older "Donde Estan Los Ladrones" reenter at No. 167.

Emmylou Harris' "Red Dirt Girl," which is shaping up as one of the most acclaimed albums of the year, checked in at No. 54, with sales of around 24,000 copies--an impressive start for the veteran country artist. Joan Osborne's "Righteous Love" sold about 15,000 in its first week, placing her at No. 90.

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