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Shaggy's 'Hotshot' Bumps Jennifer Lopez From No. 1

February 08, 2001|ROBERT HILBURN and RANDY LEWIS | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Jennifer Lopez's new movie, "The Wedding Planner," may still be No. 1 in theaters, but the singer-actress moved into bridesmaid position this week on the pop album chart.

Pop-reggae singer Shaggy, whose "Hotshot" album had challenged the Beatles' "1" for the top spot for weeks without success, finally makes it to No. 1 after selling 246,000 copies last week.

Lopez's album debuted at No. 1 last week after selling 272,000, but its sales dropped by almost 100,000 in its second week in the stores to 179,000 copies, according to SoundScan.

"The Shaggy single ["It Wasn't Me"] is a huge success story," says Wherehouse Entertainment senior pop music buyer Bob Bell. "It's been building and building at pop radio and shows no signs of letting up. . . . He's had a couple of radio hits before--it seems like pop radio really loves this guy."

"Hotshot" has been on the chart for 26 weeks now, with total U.S. sales of 2.8 million.

Shaggy is expected to rule the chart until a pair of challengers, the Dave Matthews Band and Silkk the Shocker, release new albums Feb. 27. Shaggy should benefit from some high-profile TV appearances. He'll perform Sunday during the NBA All-Star Weekend's Jam Session and be a guest on "Saturday Night Live" on Feb. 17.

Shaggy and Lopez are trailed in the Top 5 by the soundtrack for "Save the Last Dance," the Beatles (whose "1" has moved past the 6 million mark since its release in November) and Ja Rule.

Country star LeAnn Rimes' "I Need You" was the highest-debuting album of the week, coming in at No. 10 with sales of 83,000. But Rimes won't be celebrating: She's suing her label, Curb Records, saying that the company and her estranged father, Wilbur Rimes, released the album without her involvement and that it "largely consists of unfinished material and songs that didn't make other albums." A representative said the company stands behind the project.

Of last week's freshmen album debuts, Southland teen girl group Dream fared better than boy band O-Town. The former's "It Was All Just a Dream" remained in the Top 10, slipping from No. 6 to No. 9, while "O-Town" plunged from No. 5 to No. 20 this week.

Meanwhile, the Grammy nominations announced in January don't seem to be generating sales momentum for the best album nominees. None of the five collections--by Beck, Eminem, Radiohead, Steely Dan or Paul Simon--moved up the Top 200 sales list. Indeed, only Eminem and Radiohead sold enough to make the Top 200. Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" is No. 55 after nine months on the chart (total sales 8.1 million), while Radiohead's "Kid A" is at No. 128 after more than four months (about 732,000 sales).

The nation's best-selling single for the second straight week was "Stutter" by Joe featuring Mystikal.

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