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Britney Spears Returns to No.1; Blackstreet Crack the Top Ten

March 31, 1999 12:00 AM ET

You can't keep a good woman down.| Or in the case of Rolling Stone cover girl Britney Spears, you can't keep her off the top of the charts. Spears returns to the No. 1 spot on the nation's album chart for the third time in less than three months. In a business where hit records often debut strong and then steadily tumble down the chart, Spear's perseverance is remarkable. In eleven weeks, her debut has sold 1.6 million copies, making it the biggest seller of the year so far. And Spears, who will soon star in several Dawson's Creek episodes and may even land her own TV show, has done it all on the strength on one single: "...Baby One More Time."

Her album by the same name sold 168,000 copies for the week ending March 28, according to SoundScan, and finally ended TLC's four-week run at No. 1. TLC's Fanmail dropped to No. 4. The R&B male supergroup Blackstreet owned the week's only debut in the Top Ten. The act's long-awaited release, Finally, came in at No. 9, selling 80,000 copies.

More smooth R&B from the all-female group Silk also debuted strong. Silk's third album, Tonight, came in at No. 21. Right in front of them at No. 20 was 98 Degrees, Motown's hot R&B act. 98 Degrees and Rising finally cracked the Top 20 after nearly six months on the chart. (The act's ascent is welcome news at Motown, which has been suffering a hits drought in recent years.)

Meanwhile, the latest from booted Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, Red Voodoo, bowed at a respectable No. 22. (Hagar's single "Mas Tequila" is currently No. 3 at rock radio.)

From the top, it was Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time, followed by Eminem's The Slim Shady LP (selling 162,000 copies); Fanmail (154,000); Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (109,000); Shania Twain's Come On Over (101,000); the Offspring's Americana (99,000); Cher's Believe (91,000); the Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces (81,000); and Finally (80,000).

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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