Aaliyah Reaches No. 1

Late singer's album shoots to top of charts

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As expected, the tragic death of R&B singer and actress Aaliyah sent droves of fans to pick up her swan song, Aaliyah. The album shot from Number Nineteen to Number One with an increase from 62,081 copies to 305,911, according to SoundScan. The ripples were visible elsewhere in her catalog, as 1996's One in a Million shot from 716 copies sold the previous week to 16,218. And Aaliyah's sales were its highest tally in its seven weeks of release, handily topping its first-week sales figure of 186,893.

Elsewhere on the charts there was plenty of buzzing. If you've grown weary of the same eight to ten acts lodged in the Top Ten album sales chart, this chart's for you. From last week, only Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor, Maxwell's Now, Now That's What I Call Music! 7 and Juvenile's Project English, held up to an onslaught of new debuts; the most drastic facelift the Top Ten has received all year.

Falling just short of Aaliyah's chart topping figure was the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige<, whose No More Drama fell just short of the 300,000 mark, and R&B crooner Brian McKnight and his star-studded Superhero took a bow at Number Seven. Hard rock made its mark with Slipknot's third album, Iowa, which sold a quarter million copies for a Number Three entrance and Fred Durst proteges Puddle of Mudd, who put their debut at Number Ten. Toby Keith proved that country music still has some chart muscle, as his Pull My Chain sold 119,504 copies to score a Number Nine debut.

And the debut hit parade continues: Afroman showed the power of the summer single, as his Good Times, featuring "I Got High," sold nearly 100,000 copies to land at Number Fourteen. Bjork's Vespertine (Number Nineteen), Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA (as Bobby Digital)'s Digital Bullet (Number Twenty-four), and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper Krayzie Bone's Thug on Da Line (Number Twenty-seven) also registered solid first-week sales.

Other notable marks were reached by a disparate pair of country music-related releases. The O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack moved past the 2 million copies sold mark, while the Dixie Chicks Fly crossed over the 7 million point.

Next week, doesn't promise as much new blood in the Top Ten, as System of a Down's Toxicity leads a more humble crop of rookies.

This week's Top Ten: Aaliyah's Aaliyah (305,911 copies sold); Mary J. Blige's No More Drama (294,351); Slipknot's Iowa (254,936); Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor (170,650); Maxwell's Now (170,440); Now That's What I Call Music! 7 (158,847); Brian McKnight's Superhero (150,789); Juvenile's Project English (122,185); Toby Keith's Pull My Chain (119,504); and Puddle of Mudd's Come Clean (116,097).

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