McGraw earns ‘Place in Sun’

Kudos buoy bestseller

Buoyed by wins at the Academy of Country Music Awards, country singer Tim McGraw’s “Place in the Sun” was the best selling album in the nation, according to data released Wednesday.

The Curb Records disc is the first country album of the year to top the sales charts. More than 251,000 fans bought the disc during the period ended May 9.

McGraw’s latest was one of six discs which nabbed significant sales boosts as a result of an artist’s appearance or win on the ACM telecast.

“Place in the Sun” topped TLC’s “Fan Mail,” by more than 77,000 copies. The trio’s LaFace/Arista album held steady at the post for the second consecutive week.

Industry action was expectedly soft for the time of year, despite seven of the Top 10 albums posting sales increases.

Slow months

“Two of the crummiest months of the year are April and May,” Henry Droz, prexy of Universal Music and Video Distribution, told Daily Variety. “But June usually comes to life when the kids get out of school and start buying records.”

The Top 10’s only other newcomer was the soundtrack to “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” which returned Sony Classical to the upper rungs of the chart.

The label’s last lofty entry was the “Titanic” soundtrack, which went on to become the industry’s best selling score album.

Hefty sales are also predicted for the “Star Wars” disc. But unlike “Titanic” it lacks a vocal track to help spur widespread sales.

The new entries helped push last week’s charttopper, the Ruff Ryders/Interscope Records disc “Ryde or Die,” down to No. 4. More than 172,000 copies of the disc went home with fans.

Despite nabbing a 30,000 unit increase over the previous chart, Shania Twain’s “Come On Over” still slid a notch to No. 5.

The Mercury Nashville disc continues to find new fans and post weekly sales upticks. As a result, the album has passed the 8.3 million unit mark in its 79th week of release.

‘Sometimes’ a winner

The growing popularity of Britney Spears’ new single “Sometimes,” helped her “Baby One More Time” album nab a 14,000 unit sales boost on the previous chart.

Sales of the Jive Records disc were also helped by a number of TV show stops as part of the set-up for the singer’s upcoming tour.

The ACM show also helped the Dixie Chicks’ Monument/Sony disc “Wide Open Spaces” log a four slot chart rise and a 41,000 unit gain from the previous chart.

Their disc joined Faith Hill’s Warner Bros. album “Faith,” George Strait’s MCA Nashville disc “Always Never The Same” and Steve Wariner’s Capitol Nashville “Two Teardrops” as albums that benefited from exposure on the ACM show.

Hill’s 51-slot ascension and tripling of sales over the previous week was the most dramatic of the ACM-aided discs.

Nas’ Columbia Records disc “I Am,” slid five rungs to No. 8 with a tally over 109,000 units.

It barely topped Cher’s Warner Bros. disc “Believe,” which logged an 18,000 unit sales boost and a three slot slide.