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Nelly Puts St. Louis on Nation’s Rap Map; Janet Jackson Zooms

Rapper Nelly’s debut album, “Country Grammar,” takes over the No. 1 spot on thenation’s sales chart, selling an estimated 235,000 copies last week. The figure pushes sales of the album past 1.5 million since its release last month.

“I’m really happy,” says the 22-year-old St. Louis rapper, whose album matches his easygoing delivery with accessible production touches. “And I’m really proud to have put St. Louis on the map, musically, for my generation. This is just the beginning.”

But the most interest in the pop world was on the continuing sales punch of the summer’s trio of blockbusters--Britney Spears’ “Oops! . . . I Did It Again,” Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” and ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached.”

Spears’ album, which is No. 2 in its 13th week on the chart, has now sold almost 5 million copies--or an average of some 385,000 a week. Eminem, No. 4 in its 12th week, has sold 5.8 million copies, for an average of almost 485,000 a week. ‘N Sync, No. 5 in its 21st week, has sold 7.4 million, a weekly average of about 350,000.

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The only new arrival in the Top 40 was veteran rap group De La Soul’s “Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump,” which placed No. 9 with sales of 81,000.

On the singles front, Janet Jackson’s “Doesn’t Really Matter” zoomed from No. 75 to No. 1, where it is trailed by Sisqo’s “Incomplete,” which was No. 1 last week.


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