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Boys keep swingin’

'Millennium' stays No.1, but Blige bows big

The Backstreet Boys’ “Millennium” was the bestselling album in the nation for the third consecutive week.

Sales data released Wednesday showed the Jive Records disc went home with more than 242,000 fans during the period ended Aug. 22, a 7,000-unit slide from the previous chart.

Disc is expected to maintain its sales momentum as the ensemble’s highly anticipated tour kicks into high gear in the coming weeks.

Industry action rose slightly over the previous report with more than 14.9 million units sold during the period, compared with nearly 14.8 million units moved during the period ended Aug. 15.

A pair of debuts helped goose the sales tallies, with the well-hyped “Mary” from Mary J. Blige leading the pack and bowing at No. 2.

It’s the second Blige album that MCA Records execs have bowed with impressive first-week takes. Blige’s “Share My World” bowed last year with just 500 fewer copies than the more than 239,000 copies of “Mary” that moved.

At No. 3 was “Murda Muzik,” the Loud/Columbia disc from Mobb Deep, which had sales of more than 194,000 copies.

Limp Bizkit’s “Significant Other,” which owned the No. 2 spot for several weeks, was bounced to No. 4 by the newcomers. “Other” went home with more than 166,000 fans.

Bizkit’s hefty take helped Universal Music Group continue its dominance with nearly 31% of the current album market share, a key barometer of a label’s success.

BMG nabbed nearly 18% of the market share, followed by Sony’s 17.2%, Warner’s 12.2% and EMI’s 7.74%.

Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” slipped two slots to No. 5 with sales of more than 133,000 copies. Her Jive Records offering is closing in on 5 million copies sold.

At No. 6 was the latest installment in the “Now” series of compilation discs, which was snapped up by more than 127,000 fans. The disc features acts from the EMI, Universal and Zomba families.

Ricky Martin’s self-titled English-language C2/Columbia Records bow slid three berths to No. 4, but held back the soundtrack to “Runaway Bride,” which went home with more than 122,000 fans. Less than 3,000 copies separated the two albums.

Kid Rock’s Atlantic Records disc “Devil Without a Cause” checked in at No. 9, a two-slot slide, on sales of more than 121,000 copies.

Santana’s “Supernatural” held steady at No. 10 for the second week.

The Arista Records disc posted an 8,000-unit uptick to more than 117,000 copies.

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