Chart-based stories on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack and Brandy.

THE 'BROTHER' FROM ANOTHER YEAR: The motion picture "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" opened in the year 2000. The Lost Highway/Mercury soundtrack album debuted on The Billboard 200 at No. 192 the week of Jan. 13, 2001 and climbed steadily upward during its first eight weeks on the chart. It then began a see-saw movement that found it climbing as high as No. 11 the week of Sept. 1, 2001.

When it finally made the top-10 the week of Feb. 9, 2002, it seemed like the album had reached its peak position at last. But the surprise Grammy win as album of the year propelled the disc from 15-2 last week. Now, in its 63rd chart week, the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film is finally No. 1.

That's just one-week shy of tying the record for the longest journey to the top in a single chart run. In 1989, Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" advanced to No. 1 in its 64th chart week.

"O Brother" is the first country soundtrack to top The Billboard 200, and the first soundtrack to lead the list in the 21st century. It is the 17th soundtrack to land in pole position in the last 10 years.

Here is a summary of those No. 1 soundtracks:

"Wayne's World," 1992 (2 weeks)
"The Bodyguard," 1992 (20 weeks)
"Sleepless in Seattle," 1993 (1 week)
"The Crow," 1994 (1 week)
"The Lion King," 1994 (10 weeks)
"Murder Was the Case," 1994 (2 weeks)
"Friday," 1995 (2 weeks)
"Pocahontas," 1995 (1 week)
"Dangerous Minds," 1995 (4 weeks)
"Waiting To Exhale," 1996 (5 weeks)
"Gridlock'd," 1997 (1 week)
"Howard Stern Private Parts: The Album," 1997 (1 week)
"Men in Black - The Album," 1997 (2 weeks)
"Titanic," 1998 (16 weeks)
"City of Angels," 1998 (3 weeks)
"Armageddon - The Album," 1998 (2 weeks)
"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" 2002 (1 week to date)

"O Brother" is also No. 1 on three other Billboard charts: Top Internet Album Sales (for the seventh week), Top Soundtracks (for the 28th week), and Top Country Albums (also for the 28th week).

A FINE GIRL: Who could be unhappy about "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" taking over the top spot on The Billboard 200? Well, you couldn't blame Brandy if she has some misgivings about the soundtrack's success. The surprise rise of "Brother" denies Brandy the opportunity to claim her first No. 1 album on The Billboard 200.

Brandy Norwood was 15 when her debut release, simply titled "Brandy," debuted on the album chart the week of Oct. 15, 1994. That album contained the hit singles "I Wanna Be Down" and "Baby," and eventually peaked at No. 20. Almost four years later, Brandy's second album, "Never Say Never," entered the chart at No. 3. One week later, on July 4, 1998, that record peaked at No. 2. Now, Brandy's third album, "Full Moon" (Atlantic), has to settle for debuting at No. 2, runner-up to the Grammy-winning album of the year.

On the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, where "O Brother" is not a contender, "Full Moon" debuts at No. 1, making it Brandy's first chart-topping set on this chart. "Brandy" peaked at No. 6 and "Never Say Never" spent two weeks at No. 2.

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