The good news for artists and their labels is the recently announced Grammy nominations helped boost chart positions for several acts. The bad news is so few folks were out buying albums last week that the Grammy nods didn't mean all that much.
In that quiet environment, New York rapper DMX was able to hold onto the No. 1 spot for the third week in a row with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. For the week ending Jan. 10, the album sold 135,000 copies, according to SoundScan. And continuing right where rap-hot 1998 left off, four of the top five albums for the first full week of 1999 were from rap acts -- DMX, Lauryn Hill, Tupac and Jay-Z.
Not surprisingly, Lauryn Hill, who last week captured ten nominations for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, watched her debut album jump from No. 10 to No. 2 last week. But when you look at the actual weekly sales numbers, Miseducation sold fewer copies last week than the week before. Because overall sales were so sluggish, Hill was able to increase eight chart positions.
Another album on its way up the chart is the hit compilation NOW That's What I Call Music, featuring recent songs by Janet Jackson, Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls. Eleven weeks after its release on Virgin Records, the album broke the Top Ten for the first time. An institution in the U.K., where the NOW series routinely tops the charts, this is the first such album in America. Its steady rise could bode well for this type of star-heavy pop compilation Stateside.
From the top, it was DMX's Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, followed by Hill's Miseducation (selling 111,000 copies); Tupac's Greatest Hits (106,100); Offspring's Americana (106,000); Jay-Z's Vol. II: Hard Knock Life (102,000); 'N Sync (94,000); Jewel's Spirit (89,000); Mariah Carey's # 1's (85,000); Garth Brooks' Double Live (82,000); and NOW (75,000).