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"It’s hard to remember any other brand-new artist that’s ever held down the top of the charts like this. It’s truly amazing."
——Vince Szydlowski, Virgin Entertainment
STRAIGHT A'S: ALICIA,
AALIYAH TOP CHARTS
Alicia Keys Beats Back Aaliyah’s Challenge, While Foxy Brown and Craig David Make Top 10 Debuts
That’s it. We’re not saying another word about J Records’ phenomenal new artist, Alicia Keys. Nope, nope, nope—three weeks (out of four) at #1 right out of the box ought to be enough to convince even those with IQs only a few points higher than ours that this girl is a superstar, and her debut album, "Songs in A Minor," is an Album of the Year contender that ain’t going away, no way, no how. After three-quarters of a million albums sold, why should we continue to beat it to death? No. Nothing more to say. The people have spoken.

ALICIA KEYS IS A FUCKING SMASH!!! Thank you.

Now that we have that out of our systems, right behind #1 Alicia Keys (whose phenomenal album sales continue to astound even the most jaded observer) is #2 Aaliyah (Blackground/Virgin), whose eponymous album bests Eminem’s #3 D12 (Interscope)—which is no small feat considering the huge sales racked up by that outfit. Rounding out the Top Five, we have Flip/Elektra’s Staind at #4 and P. Diddy (Bad Boy), settling to #5 in its second week.

"J Records is really reaping the benefits of a great setup on Alicia Keys," said Virgin Entertainment’s Vince Szydlowski, not taking us up on our request to leave the whole J Records/Alicia thing alone already. "It’s hard to remember any other brand-new artist that’s ever held down the top of the charts like this. It’s truly amazing."

Meanwhile, other strong chart debuts this week include Foxy Brown’s "Broken Silence" (Def Jam) at #7, Craig David’s "Born to Do It" (Wildstar/Atlantic) at #9 and Kurupt’s "Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey" (Antra/Artemis) at #11.

"Huge success stories from Europe don’t always translate to sales in the U.S.," continued Szdszlwszzkzy, still shaking his head in disbelief over #1 Alicia Keys’ incredible chart run, "but Craig David had a very promising Top Five debut with us. He looks like he might break wide-open in the weeks to come."

Next week, it’s all about Alici…er…NSYNC.

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