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Backstreet Boys Outsell E-Commerce

For all the clamor and commotion surrounding e-commerce and online music sales in 1999, one fact still stands out: The Backstreet Boys alone outsold the entire number of all CDs sold online.

SoundScan, which tracks point-of-purchase music sales, has released its year-end figures for 1999, and Millennium, the Backstreet Boys' top-selling May release, sold almost a million copies more than online retailers.

According to SoundScan's figures, the album sold 9,445,732 copies between its release date and Jan. 2, 2000. Online retailers, on the other hand, sold 8,499,473 records between Jan. 4, 1999, and Jan. 2, 2000. The year's second-best selling album, Britney Spears' … Baby One More Time, almost topped the retailers as well, selling 8,358,619 copies following its release Jan. 5, 1999.

Though the numbers certainly speak to the sales strength of both the Backstreets and Spears, they also make it clear that online record sales aren't as pervasive as many might believe. Almost 755 million albums were sold in the U.S. in 1999, up from 711 million in 1998, making online sales just a minor part of the picture.

After the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears, Ricky Martin's self-titled English-language debut was the highest-selling record in the land, followed by Shania Twain's Come on Over and Limp Bizkit's Significant Other. In the year's No. 6 spot was Santana's Supernatural, which landed Carlos Santana 10 Grammy nominations Tuesday. Kid Rock, TLC, Christina Aguilera, and the Dixie Chicks rounded out the year's Top 10 selling albums.

Top 20 selling albums of 1999
1. Backstreet Boys: Millennium (Jive) — 9,445,732 copies sold
2. Britney Spears: … Baby One More Time (Jive) — 8,358,619 copies sold
3. Ricky Martin: Ricky Martin (C2/Columbia) — 5,981,155 copies sold
4. Shania Twain: Come On Over (Mercury Nashville) — 5,618,134 copies sold
5. Limp Bizkit: Significant Other (Flip/Interscope) — 4,952,890 copies sold
6. Santana: Supernatural (Arista) — 4,732,589 copies sold
7. Kid Rock: Devil Without a Cause (Atlantic) — 4,259,736 copies sold
8. TLC: Fan Mail (LaFace) — 4,186,685 copies sold
9. Christina Aguilera: Christina Aguilera (RCA) — 3,662,905 copies sold
10. Dixie Chicks: Wide Open Spaces (Monument) — 3,463,642 copies sold
11. 'N Sync: 'N Sync (RCA) — 3,271,753 copies sold
12. Juvenile: 400 Degreez (Cash Money/Universal) — 3,270,296 copies sold
13. Celine Dion: All the Way — A Decade of Song (Epic) — 2,885,268 copies sold
14. Offspring: Americana (Columbia) — 2,883,987 copies sold
15. Eminem: Slim Shady (Interscope) — 2,824,460 copies sold
16. Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Columbia) — 2,762,628 copies sold
17. Cher: Believe (Warner Bros.) — 2,760,221 copies sold
18. 98 Degrees: 98 Degrees and Rising (Universal) — 2,699,512 copies sold
19. Dixie Chicks: Fly (Monument) — 2,672,649 copies sold
20. Lou Bega: A Little Bit of Mambo (RCA) — 2,473,519 copies sold.

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