Can it already be time for 'N Sync to say bye, bye, bye to No.1?
The phenomenally popular singing group debuted last week at the top of the nation's album chart by selling 1.8 million copies of its new disc, "Celebrity." That sales performance was so strong that it ranked as the second-best sales week in music industry history, trailing only the mark the band itself set last year when 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached" sold 2.42 million copies.
No one expected the new album to match the massive first-week sales of "Strings" (that album had been the band's first in two years and came at the peak of the youth pop craze, ratcheting up fan mania), but surely "Celebrity" would put together a robust streak at No. 1, right?
Maybe not. "Strings" logged eight consecutive weeks in the top spot, but now "Celebrity" may tumble after just one week.
That's because the new volume of the "Now That's What I Call Music!" hit stores last Tuesday and, according to retail reports, has been flying out of stores a lot faster than you can say its title.
The "Now" series bundles together recent hits from various artists and, with heavy television advertising, has become a sensation with pop fans. The new one, Vol. 7, features 19 acts, among them Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson, Aerosmith and Nelly, and may sell more than 725,000 copies, putting it in the same rarified neighborhood as "Celebrity."
"It's a horse race," says Geoff Mayfield, director of charts for Billboard. "'N Sync may well prevail. If not, it's not a defeat so much for 'N Sync as it is a victory for the brand power of the 'Now' series."
There's another reason 'N Sync shouldn't feel bad--its song "This I Promise You" is on the "Now" disc, assuring that, no matter what, the band can claim at least a piece of No. 1.