In the week following the R&B singer's fatal plane crash, fans bought her records in droves, catapulting her self-titled third album 18 spots to number one. In fact, SoundScan data for sales ended Sunday show the album sold nearly five times as many copies as the previous week, going from 62,000 copies to 305,000 copies.
The album, which came out July 17, debuted at number two but had fallen as low as number 27 just two weeks ago. The disc now joins her first two releases, Age Ain't Nothing but a Number and One in a Million, as million-plus sellers.
The 22-year-old Aaliyah, who was laid to rest Friday, is also making a posthumous run on the radio charts with the single "Rock Da Boat," the video that she shot immediately before the crash.
With Vibe magazine doing a commemorative issue and her family making its first public appearance during an Aaliyah tribute at Thursday's MTV Video Music Awards, expect her album to continue to perform well in coming weeks.
The Aaliyah ascendancy overshadowed five huge top 10 debuts. The highest belonged to Mary J. Blige, whose fifth studio album, No More Drama, sold 294,000 copies to land at number two. (Coincidentally, the Atlanta-born, Yonkers-bred singer debuted in the two spot two years ago with Mary, missing the top spot by only 3,000 copies.)
Nü-metal clown rockers Slipknot debuted at number three with Iowa. The nine-person group, formed in Des Moines back in 1995, actually sold about half as many copies as expected--industry pundits predicted Iowa would move around half a million, but the disc actually sold 254,000 copies. Slipknot just wrapped up Ozzfest 2001 and is preparing to coheadline the Pledge of Allegiance tour with System of a Down, Rammstein and Mudvayne.
Also coming in with solid debuts were R&B singer-songwriter Brian McKnight at number seven, as his latest, Superhero, sold 150,000 copies; country star Toby Keith sold 119,000 copies of Pull My Chain to land at number nine; and rookie rockers Puddle of Mudd sold 116,000 copies of their debut, Come Clean, to land in the 10 spot. The group, released on Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst's Flawless Records imprint, benefited from heavy radio and video play for their single "Control," in addition to much lip service from the never-ever silent Durst.
The top 10 holdovers were Alicia Keys' Songs in A Minor at number four, Maxwell's Now at five, Now That's What I Call Music! 7 at six and Juvenile's Project English at eight. 'N Sync, Linkin Park, Staind, Usher, Jennifer Lopez and the Isley Brothers all dropped out.
Elsewhere on the charts, radio sensation Afroman opened at number 14 with The Good Times. The Mississippi rapper is currently dominating the airwaves with the multi-format summer hit "Because I Got High." Surprisingly, the top six debuts this week, from Blige to Afroman, all came from one company, Universal Music Group.
Other notable debuts included Björk's Vespertine at 19, rapper Krayzie Bone's Thug on Da Line at 27, Tech N9ne's Anghellic at 59, Brotha Lynch Hung's Trigganometry at 79, American Head Charge's War of Art at 118, Nicole C. Mullen's Talk About It at 123, Butthole Surfers' Weird Revolution at 130 and Stereolab's Sound-Dust at 178. There was also a little God on the charts: Christian rock scored with Skillet's Alien Youth at 141 and Relient K's Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek at 158.