'N Sync's 'Celebrity' Obliterates The Competition

'N Sync now has the two best one-week sales totals of the SoundScan era, as the band's Jive album "Celebrity" obliterated all competition to storm its way to a No. 1 debut on The Billboard 200 with 1.

'N Sync now has the two best one-week sales totals of the SoundScan era, as the band's Jive album "Celebrity" obliterated all competition to storm its way to a No. 1 debut on The Billboard 200 with 1.88 million units sold, according to SoundScan. Only the band's "No Strings Attached" had higher first-week numbers with 2.4 million units sold last March.

"Celebrity" is now the sixth album to be released in the past year to sell more than 1 million units in a week. The set is ahead of the 1.76 million moved by Eminem's Web/Aftermath/Interscope album "The Marshall Mathers LP," and the 1.59 million sold by "Black & Blue," the most recent effort from Jive labelmates the Backstreet Boys.

Yet the weighty debut was accomplished with no help from radio. With stations cooling on teen pop acts, 'N Sync's current single "Pop" is at No. 62 on The Billboard Hot 100. Depending on sales of "Celebrity" hold up in its second week, the boys could face tough competition from this week's release of the latest "NOW! That's What I Call Music" compilation album.

The only other album to debut in the top-10 this week is a Violator rap collection, featuring the Busta Rhymes single "What it Is." "Violator the Album V2.0" (Violator/Loud/CRG) charges its way to No. 10 on the strength of 79,000 copies sold, while the single moves 28-24 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. The album also debuts at No. 5 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally.

Cake's first Columbia set arrives at No. 13, the highest placing on The Billboard 200 in the band's career. With 72,000 units sold, it bests the 44,000 moved by 1998's Capricorn album "Prolonging the Magic," which debuted at No. 33. The band's single "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" is at No. 9 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks tally.

Veteran crooner Neil Diamond makes a smashing return to The Billboard 200 with "Three Chord Opera" (Columbia), the first album in 27 years composed entirely by the artist. The set sold 68,000 units, and shoots to No. 15, thanks in part to his highly viewed "Live by Request" special on A&E last weekend. Diamond's previous set of original material, 1996's "Tennessee Moon," in which he was paired with many top Nashville songwriters, sold 24,000 in its first week on the chart, eventually peaking at No. 14 on its way to 552,000 units.

Jennifer Lopez's "J. Lo" (Epic) rockets back into the top-20 of the album chart, blasting 66-17, a jump fueled by her latest single, "I'm Real" featuring Ja Rule. The cut skips 12-9 on the Hot 100, where it is the chart's fastest-growing track at radio, and moves up to No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally.

Last week's top debut on The Billboard 200, Aaliyah's self-titled Blackground release, suffered a 47% decline and drops 2-5. The album, which sold 99,000 units this week, is at No. 2 for the second-straight week on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums tally, where Alicia Keys' "Songs in A Minor" has been No. 1 for five straight weeks.

Keys' album, No. 2 on The Billboard 200, has been consistent since its release, with sales falling only 9% from last week to 203,000 units. Her single, "Fallin'," skips up to No. 2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, where Mariah Carey's "Loverboy" is No. 1 for a second-straight week, the beneficiary of a budget-priced single sales promotion from Virgin Records.

Yet "Loverboy" is once again thwarted by Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious" on the Hot 100, where the R&B trio enjoys the No. 1 single for a second-straight week. The cut is also No. 3 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks tally. The Hot 100's top debut is Juvenile's "Set it Off," which arrives at No. 76. Other top debuts include Phil Vassar's "Six Pack Summer" at No. 78 and Linkin Park's "Crawling" at No. 79.

Country singer Blake Shelton rises 30-21 on the Hot 100, and jumps 4-1 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Shelton's debut Warner Bros. album will make its appearance on next week's charts. For now, the Mercury soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" has the top spot for a 15th non-consecutive week on Billboard's Top Country Albums tally. The live companion piece to the soundtrack, Lost Highway's "Down from the Mountain" set, debuts at No. 10 on that chart.

No. 1 for a third-straight week atop Billboard's Hot Rap chart is D12's "Purple Hills." The Eminem-led group holds firmly on The Billboard 200, where "Devil's Night" (Shady/Interscope) is once again No. 3 with 123,000 copies sold.

Staind's "It's Been Awhile" is in command of Billboard's Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts for a 16th straight week, tying the Red Hot Chili Peppers' record for "Scar Tissue" on the former.