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ALBUM SALES

'Metamorphosis' from actress to chart-topper

September 11, 2003|Robert Hilburn | Times Staff Writer

"Lizzie McGuire" star Hilary Duff is the latest pop teen queen to reach the top spot on the nation's album chart.

The 15-year-old singer-actress' debut album, "Metamorphosis," sold 131,000 copies last week to edge Mary J. Blige's "Love & Life," which fell to No. 2 after selling 108,000 copies in its second week. Blige far outdistanced Duff -- 286,000 to 204,000 -- in the albums' first week in stores.

In reviewing the Duff CD, Rolling Stone magazine said her backers helped the young singer by enlisting some of the "best pop songwriting on the market." The result, the review said, is songs "so thoroughly focus-grouped that they actually transcend cliche and come out gleaming."

But Duff's stay at No. 1 is expected to be short. Singer-songwriter John Mayer's second studio collection, "Heavier Things," is seen by retailers as a cinch for the top spot next week.

Geoff Mayfield, director of charts for Billboard magazine, said his weekly survey of record label sales executives suggested that the Mayer CD got off to such a strong start on Tuesday, its first day in the stores, that it is likely to fall into the 200,000-300,000 range this week. Seal's first album in five years, "Seal IV," is also expected to enter the chart next week in the Top 10, Mayfield said.

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