A B.I.G. week puts late rapper atop album chart

Posthumous 'Born Again' hits #1, holidays driving sales up

More than 2 1/2 years after his death, the Notorious B.I.G. has topped the U.S. pop charts with the new album “Born Again,” according to sales data issued Wednesday.

The gangsta rapper’s optimistically titled release sold about 485,000 copies in the week ended Dec. 12, his Bad Boy/Arista label said. The next five acts on the pop album chart, headed by two-week champ Celine Dion, each slipped one rung, and all of the eight holdovers in the top-10 posted higher sales.

The only other new entry in the top-10 was “Now 3,” a compilation from various artists, which debuted at No. 9 with 219,000 copies sold, according to Universal.

The current sales period includes last Wednesday’s Billboard Music Awards show, which was broadcast on the Fox network. All of the artists who performed enjoyed sales bumps, but then again, the Christmas buying rush boosted sales for 83 of the 95 holdovers in the top 100.

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