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Fabulous Debut

Mystikal sneaks into the Top Ten as shoppers wrap up their holiday siege

Look’s like Master P, this year’s most newsworthy rap mogul, had
one more surprise in store for music fans before they flip their
calendars to ’99. His protTgT Mystikal’s Ghetto Fabulous,
which features No Limit stalwarts Silkk the Shocker and Snoop Dogg
as well as Busta Rhymes, hit stores during arguably the busiest
music sales week of the year and sold nearly 400,000 copies. That
was enough to garner the week’s highest debut, landing the disc at
No. 5 for the week ending December 20, according to SoundScan.

How big was last week? Busta Rhymes’ latest, E.L.E.,
debuted by selling more than a quarter-of-a-million copies but
still couldn’t crack the Top Ten. Also, sales for forty-eight of
the top fifty albums increased last week. Garth Brooks’ Double
Live
, meanwhile, remained No. 1 for the fifth week in a row.
That album has been busy defining the word blockbuster by selling
at least 400,000 copies a week since its release.

Industry eyes have been glued to the fourth quarter as scores of
superstars released new titles. Two of the biggest commercial
surprises have been Jewel’s Spirit and Offspring’s
Americana. In just five weeks in stores Spirit
has sold 1.6 million copies, according to SoundScan, thanks in part
to last week’s whopping seven-day tally of 433,000 copies sold.
That’s remarkable considering Jewel’s debut hit, Pieces of
You
, never sold more than 200,000 in one week during its
nearly two-year run on the charts. As for the Offspring, many wrote
them off after Ixnay on the Hombre, the follow-up to their
early Nineties punk blockbuster Smash, stiffed. Yet the
Southern California band, riding the wave of its modern rock radio
hit “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy),” is back, selling 284,000 copies
last week.

With so much competition in stores, very few titles made big chart
gains last week. The exception was the soundtrack to the animated
holiday movie, The Prince of Egypt. That record jumped
from No. 43 to No. 28.

From the top, it was Garth Brooks’ Double Live (selling
548,000 copies), followed by ‘N Sync (536,000); Celine
Dion’s These Are Special Times (462,000); Spirit
(433,000); Ghetto Fabulous (386,000); The Backstreet
Boys
(348,000); Mariah Carey’s # 1’s (329,000);
Shania Twain’s Come On Over (289,000); Americana
(284,000); and ‘N Sync’s Home for Christmas (266,000).

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