Ashanti Tops Album Chart with Debut Recording

Santa Monica, California, April 10, 2002 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest music company, has an impressive 7 of the top 10 albums in this week’s Top Current Album chart, according to SoundScan.

Among UMG’s top-selling titles were Ashanti Ashanti (Murder Inc./Def Jam Recordings); NOW That’s What I Call Music 9 (Universal Music Enterprises); O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack (Lost Highway); Jay-Z & R. Kelly The Best of Both Worlds (Jive/Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Recordings); Avant Ecstasy (Magic Johnson/MCA); The Scorpion King Soundtrack (Universal); and Ludacris Word of Mouf (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam South).

UMG has held the No. 1 position on the Top Current Album chart four out of the past five weeks. This week, Ashanti debuted with her self-titled album claiming the top spots on both the Top Current Album and the Top R&B Album charts. Her single “Foolish” also peaks on the Hot R&B Singles Chart as well as the Billboard Hot 100. Also, holding top chart positions: The Scorpion King — Alternative Album, Hard Music Album; Jay-Z & R. Kelly The Best of Both Worlds — Rap Album; O Brother, Where Art Thou? — Country Album, Soundtrack Album; Andrea Bocelli (Universal Classics Group) — Classical Album, Classical Catalog Album, Classical Crossover Album; Andrew W.K. (Island) — New Artist Album, Alternative New Artist Album; and Diana Krall (Verve) — Jazz Traditional Album, Jazz Catalog Album.

“We have kicked off 2002 with a solid start, and we are excited about our upcoming release schedule which includes some of the industry’s most popular artists,” said Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Doug Morris. “Our ongoing success is attributable to the great talent and ability of our record executives to keep breaking and developing artists.”

UMG’s upcoming releases include albums from Blink182, Bon Jovi, Diana Krall, DMX, Dr. Dre, Erykah Badu, Eminem, Godsmack, Ja Rule, Jay-Z, Jonny Lang, Limp Bizkit, Nelly, Shania Twain, Shaggy, Sheryl Crow, and Sting, among many others.

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.).

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.