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Fugees top rap mark

'Candle' singled out

The Fugees’ “The Score” has become the best-selling rap album by a group and one of the industry’s five best-selling rap/hip-hop discs, according to the October certifications released Monday by the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

The trade org certified 17 platinum (1 million units); 40 gold (500,000 units) and 17 multiplatinum discs during the month. The org tallies albums shipped by music congloms to retail, but may not have yet been sold through to consumers.

The Ruffhouse/Columbia Records album from the Fugees, whose reworking of Roberta Flack’s nugget “Killing Me Softly” was a radio staple, joins such notable rap/hip-hop genre bows as M.C. Hammer’s Capitol Records disc “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em” at 10 million units and 2Pac’s Interscope Records double-CD set “All Eyez on Me” at 7 million.

“Candle in the Wind/1997,” Elton John’s tribute to the late Princess Diana, was certified at 11 million units, making it the RIAA’s highest certified single. The nod marks John’s 16th certified single, and the tally surpasses the 10 million total of all his other certified singles.

Teenage crooner LeAnn Rimes adds another industry accomplishment to her lengthy list by having two multiplatinum albums certified by the trade org.

Rimes’ Curb Records disc “You Light Up My Life” was certified double platinum, and her bow, “Blue,” was certified at triple-platinum. Teen heartthrob Debbie Gibson was the last young artist to be able to lay claim to two multiplatinum discs, which were certified in 1988.

Chicago’s Reprise Records disc “Heart of Chicago 1967-1997,” its greatest hits set with a pair of new tracks, was certified gold.

The listing gives the supergroup its 20th career gold album and makes the band one of the top-five acts with the most gold certs.

Chicago is tied with Aerosmith and Jefferson Airplane for the 20 discs honor, and clocks in behind the Beatles (38), the Rolling Stones (36), Kiss (22) and Rush (21).

Mariah Carey’s latest Columbia Records disc, “Butterfly,” crosses the double-platinum plateau just one month after its bow.

The certification continues the singer’s career trend, as all of her discs have reached multiplatinum levels.

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