Dixie Chicks peck top spot, SoundScan country record

Country girls unseat Aguilera

Country music upstarts the Dixie Chicks owned the bestselling album in the nation, with more than 340,000 copies of their sophomore disc “Fly” sold last week, according to sales data released Wednesday.

The strong showing of the Monument/Sony disc earned the act honors as the industry’s bestselling debut from a country group in the SoundScan era.

It was also the year’s second-highest-selling debut from a country artist. Tim McGraw topped the charts in May.

The bow is also the Chicks’ highest career slot. Their industry debut, “Wide Open Spaces,” peaked at No. 4 in its heyday in 1998.

The entry of the Chicks pushed last week’s leader, Christina Aguilera’s self-titled bow, down a slot to No. 2 on sales action of more than 217,000 units.

BMG boost

The tally for the RCA Records disc represented a 35,000-unit falloff from the previous chart, but it helped put the label’s parent, BMG, over the impressive 20% threshold for current album market share, a barometer of how well a firm is doing breaking acts.

BMG’s tally — aided by owning five of the Top 10 discs — was 4% less than the 24.6% nabbed by industry leader Universal Music Group. Sony owned 17.6%, followed by Warner’s 12.4% and EMI’s 8.3%.

Industry action rose slightly over the previous list with more than 14.6 million units sold during the period ended Sept. 5, compared with nearly 14.3 million units moved during the period ended Aug. 29.

BMG also owned the No. 3 disc, the Backstreet Boys’ Jive Records offering “Millennium,” which went home with more than 183,000 fans, and the No. 4 disc, Santana’s Arista Records album “Supernatural.”

The latter disc posted a three-slot rise as a result of its 133,000-unit take, a 16,000-unit uptick over the previous chart.

Limp Bizkit’s “Significant Other” slid a slot to No. 5 on sales north of 130,000 copies. The Flip/Interscope disc should get a sales boost from its high profile on tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards.

‘Baby’ sitting

Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” held steady at No. 6 for the second week on sales of more than 129,000 copies. Her Jive Records offering topped 5 million units sold since its bow eight months ago.

Kid Rock’s Atlantic Records disc “Devil Without A Cause” checked in at No. 7 on sales of more than 119,000 copies and topped by 900 units the No. 8 disc, “Forever,” the latest Bad Boy/Arista disc from Puff Daddy.

Ricky Martin’s self-titled English-language C2/Columbia Records bow slid a berth to No. 9 on sales north of 89,000 units, but held back the No. 10 disc, MCA Records’ “Mary” from Mary J. Blige. Less than 1,500 copies separated the two discs.