'N Sync smashes sales record

In Brief

March 30, 2000|By J.D. CONSIDINE | J.D. CONSIDINE,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC

Records, they say, are made to be broken. But nobody expected the first-week CD sales record to be broken as quickly and decisively as 'N Sync did with its "No Strings Attached" album.

The album went on sale last week, and by the end of its first day in stores, the 12-song CD had sold more than a million copies, doing in a single day what the previous record-holder -- the Backstreet Boys' album "Millennium" -- took a full week to do.

Six days later, "No Strings" had racked up a whopping 2.4 million units sold, according to industry figures, more than double the 1.13 million sales of the Backstreet Boys album.

Nor were CDs the only 'N Sync items doing brisk business. Tickets for the group's coming summer tour went on sale Saturday morning, and by the end of the day, TicketMaster reported that nationally, more than 600,000 tickets had been sold. Prices for the nearest concert -- July 10 at RFK Stadium in Washington -- ranged from $39.75 to $75, and according to TicketMaster, fewer than 100 tickets remain.

Although 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys are signed to the same record company and came out of the same Orlando teen-pop scene, the groups have been friendly rivals for two years. Needless to say, the 'N Sync camp is pretty pleased at having outdone its label mates.

"You always want to come out on top," the group's manager, Johnny Wright, told the Associated Press. "If you have defending champions, you want to knock them off."

In addition to breaking the sales record, 'N Sync also succeeded in dislodging Santana's Grammy-sweeping "Supernatural" from the top of the Billboard album charts, a position it has held for six weeks.

Selling a million copies in a single week isn't easy.

Since a computerized tracking system was introduced in 1991, only four albums have broken the million sales mark in their debut week: 'N Sync's "No Strings Attached"; the Backstreet Boys' "Millennium" (1999); Garth Brooks' "Double Live" (1998); and the soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" (1992).

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