Nelly is No. 1, followed by Eminem and Britney

By Craig Seymour
September 14, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
Spears: Suzanne Plunkett/AP

This week music buyers really want their MTV, or at least the heavy rotation acts who headlined the 2000 Video Music Awards: The top three spots on the new Billboard album chart go to Nelly (No. 1), Eminem (No. 2), and Britney Spears (No. 3). All three turned in notable performances on the VMAs, which scored the year’s highest ratings for a cable entertainment program, with 9.8 million viewers (MTV will reair the show Friday, 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m). Says Scott Levine, Musicland’s director of marketing/audio, ”We certainly saw sales increases from the prior week.”

Nelly — who was a last minute add to the lineup after rapper DMX missed dress rehearsal (for the second year in a row) — sold 191,000 copies of his debut ”Country Grammar.” And things are looking good all over for hip hop’s pride of St. Louis: His second single ”E.I.” debuts on the R&B singles charts (No. 82), while his starmaking smash ”Hot S**t” continues its 21 week climb up the pop chart to a new high (No. 7).

And speaking of rappers on the move, double VMA winner Eminem jumps one spot to No. 2, knocking Britney ”Dare to Bare” Spears down to No. 3. (She had held the runner-up spot for 15 straight weeks.) It was a bad week for the buxom teen star, who turned in a very adult performance of ”Satisfaction” and ”Oops!… I Did It Again.” Unlike Eminem, Britney landed no Moonmen, despite four nominations.

Her fellow VMA losers Creed (who were nominated for Best Rock Video) hold at No. 4 on Billboard. And the night’s biggest winners, triple trophied ‘N Sync, take a three place leap to No. 5. Maybe it was their booty shaking rendition of ”It’s Gonna Be Me” that lured record buyers. Or maybe it was ”SNL” comic Jimmy Fallon’s puppet wielding spoof. Then again, maybe few people even noticed the difference.

The rest of the top 10 finds the ”NOW! 4…” compilation at No. 6, 3 Doors Down at No. 7, and Papa Roach at No. 8. The week’s highest debut (No. 9) goes to Master P’s rappin’ lil’ bro C-Murder. And DJ Clue’s megamixed soundtrack to ”Backstage,” the Hard Knock Life tour documentary (in theaters), slides from No. 6 to No. 10. Sounds like he should’ve mixed in a little Nelly.