The Master has arrived. Master P, that is.
The New Orleans-based rapper/actor/screenwriter/director and founder of red-hot No Limit Records, claims top album honors for the week ending June 6 with Da Last Don. The album debuted at No. 1, selling 495,000 copies, according to SoundScan. (P's straight-to-video flick by the same name should be in stores soon.) That tally was more than enough to bounce the City of Angels soundtrack from the top spot, to keep the latest from the Smashing Pumpkins, Adore, out of pole position, and strong enough to hold off the surging Hope Floats soundtrack.
Other notable debuts for the week included rapper Onyx at No. 10, Gloria Estefan at No. 23, and the soundtrack to the upcoming X-Files movie at No. 31. As for the battle of the cross-promoting country superstars, Reba McEntire edged out Brooks & Dunn (the three teamed up for a new single, which appears on both their albums released this week.) McEntire's record came in at No. 8, while Brooks & Dunn entered at No. 11.
From the top it was Master P, followed by Adore (selling 174,000 copies; by comparison the band's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness debuted by selling 246,000 copies in 1995); the soundtrack to City of Angels (168,000); the soundtrack to Godzilla (129,000); the soundtrack to Hope Floats (116,000; the country-flavored record for the Sandra Bullock/Harry Connick Jr. flick has jumped from No 40 to No. 5 in just two weeks); DMX's It's Dark & Hell Is Hot (97,000); Backstreet Boys (96,000); McEntire's If You See Him (93,000); Garth Brooks' Limited Series (90,000); and Onyx's Shut 'Em Down.
It was a particularly strong week for Madonna's 14-week-old Ray of Light, with sales up 20 percent over last week. The reason? The singer's recent appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show sent viewers scurrying into record stores.
Speaking of divas, at a time when even superstar records gradually fade from view within a month or two, country crossover star Shania Twain's Come On Over, which enjoyed yet another weekly jump in sales, has been hovering around the Top 10 since its debut six months ago. Already this year, the sultry singer has outsold new records by Madonna, the Spice Girls, Pearl Jam, Janet Jackson and Eric Clapton. Surging sales reflect the fact she's made the move from country to the mainstream without a hitch. Her latest single, "You're Still the One," recently hit No. 2 on the pop singles chart.