Queen of the Hill

Fugees' siren breaks SoundScan record with solo debut

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).