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Yee-Haw, Madonna Rides Her New Album to No. 1

September 28, 2000|ROBERT HILBURN

Madonna is probably waving that cowboy hat that she wears on the cover of"Music" after learning that the album entered the national sales chart at No. 1 on Wednesday, selling more than 419,000 copies during its first week in stores, according to SoundScan.

Though the figure is far below the 2.4 million first-week record established in March by 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" and the 1.76 million reached by Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" in May, the tally is almost 50,000 more than the first-week total of the singer's last album, 1998's Grammy-winning "Ray of Light." That album has gone on to sell an estimated 3.5 million copies.

"Music" combines some of the moody, introspective currents of the last album with lots of Madonna's long-standing dance-floor instincts. The title track has been the nation's best-selling single for four weeks.

But Madonna's reign at No. 1 may be short because there is usually a big drop-off in an album's second week in the stores--and rapper Mystikal's "Let's Get Ready . . . " is expected to sell around 375,000 copies next week, according to one retail chain projection. That should easily top next week's other likely big debut, boy band 98 Degrees' "Revelation." That album will likely sell around 250,000 copies in its opening week, according to the projection.

There is one other Top 10 debut this week: country veteran George Strait, whose "George Strait" sold about 107,000 copies to earn seventh place on the list. Rapper Cam'ron's "Sports, Drugs & Entertainment" entered the charts at No. 14, while rock group Fuel's "Something Like Human" debuted at No. 17. Barbra Streisand's two-disc concert album, "Timeless--Live in Concert," was No. 21 in its first week on the charts.

On the singles chart, Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady"--the first single from the singer's upcoming, much-anticipated "Mama's Gun" album--moved into the Top 10 at No. 3.

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