It marks an unprecedented debut for a female in the hip-hop genre--in fact, Hill now holds the record for first-week sales for any female artist since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991 (Madonna previously held the record for her Ray of Light, which sold 371,000 in its bow). Best known for her vocals on the megahit Fugees remake of "Killing Me Softly," Hill has impeccable music community cachet and street credibility.
The multitalented New Jersey native is a two-time Grammy winner with the Fugees, a songwriter for acts like Aretha Franklin and Ce Ce Winans, a record producer with Platinum albums to her credit and a video director.
Miseducation was not the only big debut last week, according to label sources, who report that Rob Zombie's much-ballyhooed Geffen album, Hellbilly Deluxe, premiered in the No. 5 slot--extremely high for a rocker. The release sold 120,000 units in its first week.
The other big bow came from the raising of the Titanic, as the follow-up soundtrack Back to Titanic sailed into the No. 7 position with sales of 114,000. For a follow-up soundtrack--with the main musical treasures of the film already mined--it did well mainly due to cross-marketing with the record-breaking video release of the blockbuster film.
The Beastie Boys held at No. 2 with Hello Nasty selling some 137,000 units while the Aerosmith-driven Armageddon soundtrack and Canada's Barenaked Ladies each sold about 122,000.
Other acts in the Top 10 for the week include 'N Sync, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Korn and the Dr. Dolittle soundtrack.
Alabama saw their new album debut with sales of 71,000 for a No. 13 slot while the various artists on the fourth installment of Tommy Boy's Jock Jams series bowed at No. 32 with sales of 37,000.