Winners gain but 'FanMail' delivers No. 1

The annual boost at the cash registers for the presenters, performers and winners appearing on the Grammy Awards telecast, while impressive, wasn’t strong enough to hold off a trio of R&B/rap debuts.

The much-awaited “FanMail” from TLC was the bestselling album in the nation, with more than 318,000 copies of the LaFace/Arista Records disc going home with fans, according to sales data released Wednesday.

Lauryn Hill, who took home a record five Grammy statuettes, was the big winner again as she saw her “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” nearly double its take from the previous week although it slid a notch to No. 3. The Ruffhouse/Columbia Records album logged nearly 235,000 copies sold.

‘Shady’ sales

Taking second was rapper Eminem, whose Aftermath/Interscope Records disc “Slim Shady” nailed the chart’s No. 2 spot on sales action of more than 283,000 copies.

The Roots, which moved to MCA Records from Geffen for “Things Fall Apart,” landed at No. 4 with a first-week tally of more than 192,000 copies. The disc’s sales were aided by the popularity of the single “You Got Me,” which features Erykah Badu, and the extensive set-up by label execs for the album.

The debut from Britney Spears, which was pushed out of the top spot by TLC after three consecutive weeks, slid to No. 5. Her Jive Records disc, “Baby One More Time,” went home with nearly 165,000 fans, a falloff of more than 30,000 copies from the previous chart.

Dixie land

The Dixie Chicks, who picked up a pair of trophies at the Feb. 24 Grammy ceremony, saw their Monument/Sony disc “Wide Open Spaces” sell nearly 116,000 copies, a 20,000-unit uptick from the previous week. It posted a two-slot slide to No. 6.

Double Grammy winner Shania Twain saw her “Come on Over” disc leap five slots to No. 7 on sales of more than 108,000 copies. The singer’s profile, raised by the Grammy Awards and ads for her own TV special, helped the disc post a 34,000-unit increase from the previous week.

Twain’s CBS-TV special, which aired Wednesday night, likely will further stoke sales of the Mercury Records disc, which has topped 7 million copies sold in its 69th week of release.

The Elektra Entertainment compilation disc of the 1999 Grammy Awards nominees rose 10 notches to No. 8 on sales action of more than 105,000 copies.

In addition to the heat derived from the Grammy telecast, the disc’s 41,000-copy increase over the previous chart is also due to the hefty schedule of TV spots advertising the album.

Cher’s share

Cher’s Warner Bros. Records disc “Believe” slid a pair of posts to No. 9, but logged a nearly 95,000-copy tally. The album is quickly closing in on 1 million units sold after 17 weeks on the charts.

Offspring’s “Americana,” pushed from the upper rungs by the debuts and the Grammy winners, landed at No. 10. Nearly 94,000 copies went home with fans, representing a 21,000-unit decline from the previous chart.

The return of Blondie was recognized by the No. 18 bow of the band’s latest, “No Exit.” The Beyond Records disc, with sales largely driven by the single “Maria,” logged a first-week tally of more than 61,000 copies.

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