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Backstreet Boys Debut At Platinum Plus

'Millennium' breaks Garth Brooks' record for biggest opening week sales in SoundScan history

And Ricky Martin thought he was hot? Last week, the Puerto Rican pop star crashed the charts last week in style, selling over 600,000 copies and rocketing to No. 1. But the reigning kings of boy pop, the Backstreet Boys, showed Martin how real megastars move records by selling an astounding 1.1 million copies of their new album for the week ending May 23. Yes, Millennium is the new No. 1, and yes, that is a sales record, breaking the SoundScan mark Garth Brooks set last fall when his Double Live sold just over 1 million copies its first week out.

Millennium sold an amazing 500,000 copies its first day in stores, which reflects the band's ultra-loyal -- and ultra-young -- fans, who waited in front of stores to get their pint-sized paws on the album the moment it hit shelves. Yet the album was able to sell steadily throughout the week to break the million-sales mark. (According to reports from some retailers, the album might have sold even more copies if stores hadn't simply run out.) Notably, BSB were able to surpass the Brooks sales mark without offering deep discounts. Last year, with Brooks' consent, Double Live was doled out in many stores for under $10, in what industry insiders felt was a clear attempt at breaking the existing sales record. By most accounts though, the Millennium CD sold for the regular retail price of between $13 and $15. And by selling 1.1 million copies, Millennium is already the No. 15 best-selling album for all of 1999.

Nobody is going to unseat the Backstreet Boys for at least a couple of weeks, but other acts were busy burrowing into the Top Ten. Ageless wonder Jimmy Buffet's 31st album (yes, 31st), Beach House on the Moon, came in at No. 8, while rappers Eightball and M.J.G. debuted at No. 10 with Vol. 1 -- In Our Lifetime. Meanwhile, Collective Soul became the latest band to cash in courtesy of Beverly Hill, 90210. The band performed two songs at the show's fictional nightclub, Peach Pit After Dark, and even got an on-air mention of its new album, Dosage. The result: the record jumped from No. 70 to No. 50.

From the top, it was Millennium, followed by Ricky Martin (selling 458,000); Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time (141,000); TLC's Fan Mail (135,000); the soundtrack to Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace (115,000); Shania Twain's Come on Over (113,000); Snoop Dogg's Top Dogg (108,000); Jimmy Buffett's Beach House on the Moon (100,000); Ruff Ryders' Ryde or Die Vol. I (99,000); and Eightball & M.J.G.'s Vol. I -- In Our Lifetime (94,000).

(May 26, 1999)