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BATTLE OF THE BOY BANDS CONTINUES THROUGH END OF YEAR
Backstreet Sales Off By More Than Half, But Beatles Are Steady Sellers
Stop the presses.

Backstreet Boys' "Black & Blue" (Jive) may not have had what it took to unseat NSYNC's first-week sales record of 2.4 million, but it has more than enough gas to top of the charts for the foreseeable future, though their historical predecessors, the Beatles, continue to nip at their heels.

Based on first-day sales reports and past history—NSYNC's "No Strings Attached" dropped by two-thirds its second week—Backstreet Boys' numbers will be off by more than half this week, while the Beatles' "1" looks to be off by only 15-20% after the huge Thanksgiving day weekend sales binge. The week's only other top releases look to be Master P, whose new No Limit album appears headed near 100k in first-week sales, and Rawkus' rap "Lyricists' Lounge" set, which has also attracted initial strong retail reports.

And it sure seems as if the Boys and their grand-parents...er, the Beatles...will be battling it out into 2001, with only Loud's Xzibit (12/12) and Snoop Dogg's eagerly anticipated reunion with Dr. Dre on No Limit/Priority (12/19) expected to give them a run for the money.

Jennifer Lopez and Ginuwine will be among the big names with releases in 1Q next year.

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