Janet Jackson’s Virgin records debut “janet” was named bestselling recording of the year while Epic’s Pearl Jam was the bestselling artist in the National Assn. of Recording Merchandisers Best-Seller Awards, announced Tuesday at the conclusion of the trade org’s 36th annual convention.
TV personality Regis Philbin and puppeteer Shari Lewis were the co-presenters for the awards, determined for the first time by SoundScan sales figures for a 52-week period ended March 6.
Jackson’s victory was a mild upset over Arista’s soundtrack juggernaut, “The Bodyguard,” which has dominated award shows and hugged the top of the charts for close to 18 months.
But Jackson failed to beat Pearl Jam as the top artist at the cash registers, as the artist category covers catalog as well as current release. Thus, Pearl Jam’s latest, “Vs.,” and earlier but still hot-selling “Ten” enabled it to carry the category.
A complete list of bestselling winners follows:
Gospel recording: “It Remains to Be Seen,” Mississippi Mass choir, Malaco
Box set: “Live Sh*t: Binge & Purge,” Metallica, Elektra
Christmas recording: “When My Heart Finds Christmas,” Harry Connick Jr., Columbia
Musicvideo: “Comedy Video Classics,” Ray Stevens, Curb Video
Latin recording: “Mi Tierra,” Gloria Estefan, Epic
Recording merchandised as classical music: “In Concert: Carreras/Comingo/Pavarotti,” London
Comedy recording : “Talkin’ Shit,” Martin Lawrence, EastWest Records
Dance recording: “Whoomp! (There It Is),” Tag Team, Life/Bellmark
Alternative recording: “Vs.,”Pearl Jam, Epic
Single of the year: “Whoomp! (There It Is),” Tag Team, Life/Bellmark
Catalog recording: “Bat Out of Hell,” Meatloaf, Cleveland Intl./Epic
Chartmaker (consistent week-to-week sales): “The Bodyguard,” various artists, Arista
Jazz recording: “Breathless,” Kenny G, Arista