HITS Daily Double
Can 2.5 Million NSYNC Fans Be Wrong?


Teenpoppers Continue To Shatter Sales Records
What does NSYNC do for an encore?

After the teenypoppers shattered the first-week sales record by moving almost 2.5 million albums, wonderers are wondering if the pop band can retain its sales power in the coming weeks.

In just one week, the group has done nothing less than rewrite retail music history. Swooning teenyboppers--and apparently everyone else--bought an unprecedented 2.5 million copies of the band’s “No Strings Attached,” in its first week of release. That topped labelmates Backstreet Boys previous record of 1.13 million, and NSYNC’s sales made up nearly one-third of all salesfor the top 200 albums combined.

However, the question still remains if the band has the legs to maintain its No. 1 chart position. Insiders point out that even if the album falls off 50% in its second week, they'll still sell over a million copies, another unprecedented feat.

“The NSYNC phenomenon is not going to go away overnight,” said Best Buy’s Kevin Engler,who says he hasn't seen anything like this since the heyday of the Bay City Rollers. “I can’t speak for the rest of the nation, but our sales don’t seem to be off by more than 50%. If we’re at all typical, next week’s number should still be around a million, if not more. The performance on the Academy Awards with Gloria Estefan didn’t hurt things any, and the attendant press in setting the sales record has been nothing short of incredible. They’re going to be number one in another landslide this week, and Big Pun is going to have to have a huge week to dethrone them the week after that.” And he's dead. In fact, few are predicting that the posthumous release by the fallen rap star has any shot of knocking the boys from their perch.

Polls circulating throughout the industry, point overwhelmingly to the staying power enjoyed by suchacts as NSYNC and Backstreet Boys.

Executives at NSYNC’s new label, Jive Records, which nabbed them from BMG mate RCA after a legal wrangle, believe the album--led by the single “Bye, Bye, Bye”-- broke the one-week sales record in just one day.

“It’s pretty staggering,” Jive President Barry Weiss told Associated Press. “This is really what the music business needs—it’s getting young people interested in music again. And it's made me filthy, stinking rich...”

Only two other albums--the soundtrack from Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” and Garth Brooks’ “Double Live”--have surpassed the 1 million mark in one week since 1991.

“We never in a million years thought that we’d be able to break the Backstreet Boys’ numbers,” NSYNC manager Johnny Wright said from his Orlando, Florida, office. "Guess Pearlman owes me one-fifth of C-Note's foreign merchandising now."