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Queen of the Hill

Fugees' siren breaks SoundScan record with solo debut

September 2, 1998 12:00 AM ET

Forget the calendar, school's out for Lauryn Hill. One-third of the rap supergroup the Fugees, Hill just set a sales record on her way to No. 1 with her new solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Perhaps the most anticipated hip-hop record of the year, Miseducation sold 423,000 copies for the week ending August 30th, according to SoundScan. No other solo female artist has ever sold that many records in one week since SoundScan began tabulating point-of-purchase sales in 1991. The previous record was set by Madonna's Ray of Light, which sold 370,000 copies its first week in stores back in March. (Coincidentally, Hill, like Madonna, made her record-breaking album after becoming a new mother.)

Miseducation is just the latest in a long line of hits this year for the Fugees family. Along with Hill's new No. 1, the singer recently wrote and produced "A Rose is Still a Rose," for Aretha Franklin, which became the veteran soul singer's biggest hit of the decade. The Carnival, by Fugees partner Wyclef Jean, has been certified platinum, while Pras' "Ghetto Superstar," featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard and Mya, was the summer smash single from the platinum Bulworth soundtrack.

Elsewhere within the top ten, shock rocker Rob Zombie's solo release, Hellbilly Deluxe, comes in at No. 5, while Back to Titanic, featuring music not found on last winter's blockbuster and arriving just as the movie hits video stores shelves, debuts at No. 7. On the downside, last week's No. 1, Korn's Follow the Leader, plunges to No. 9, losing nearly sixty percent of last week's sales punch.

From the top, it was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, followed by the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty (selling 137,000 copies); the soundtrack to Armageddon (122,000); Barenaked Ladies' Stunt (122,000); Hellbilly Deluxe (120,000); 'N Sync (115,000); Back to Titanic (114,000); Snoop Dogg's Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told (112,000); Follow the Leader (109,000); and the soundtrack to Dr. Dolittle (90,000).

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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