Backstreet’s Back, All Right!

First the good news for the Backstreet Boys: When it comes to the number of albums they can sell in a week, BSB is, by far, tops.

The pop idols sold 5 million units of their latest album, “Black & Blue,” worldwide the first week out, Reuters reports — a new record. But it wasn’t as good of news for the boy band here in the States.

Released Nov. 21, “Black & Blue” sold 1.6 million copies in the United States in its debut week, an impressive feat but placing them third on the list of the largest first-week openings behind rival ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached” (2.4 million) and Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP” (1.8 million).

It’s not the first time an album by the boy band has reached platinum status (1 million copies sold) in the first week of release. “Millennium,” released in May 1999, debuted with a then-record of 1.1 million units sold in one week and has since gone on to sell more than 30 million units globally. BSB is the only band in history to have the back to back 1 million distinction.

To date, “Black & Blue” has gone multi-platinum in five countries; platinum in 16 countries and gold (500,000 units sold) in 10 countries.

Backstreet’s back, all right.

BILLBOARD NOMINATIONS: Hold on music fans, Santana isn’t done taking home a heap of awards just yet.

The organizers of the Billboard Music Awards announced their nominations for this year’s event, and multi-Grammy winner Santana led the pack, again, with six nominations — including Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Single of the Year.

Singer Faith Hill nabbed five nods, including Female Artist of the Year and Country Artist of the Year. Also nominated were some usual suspects in the pop, hip-hop and rock categories: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, ‘N Sync, Eminem, Joe and Metallica with three nominations each. Destiny’s Child, Pink, DMX, Donell Jones, Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw and Creed received two nods each.

The awards will be handed out Dec. 5 at Las Vegas’ MGM hotel and will air at 8 p.m. on Fox.

LOS LOBOS MURDER CASE SOLVED: Cesar Rosas finally has closure. The singer/guitarist of Los Lobos was informed late Monday night that the body his brother-in-law led police to was in fact the remains of the musician’s wife.

Sandra Rosas disappeared from her L.A. area home in October 1999. The identification, based on dental records, came 10 days after the victim’s half brother, Gabriel Gomez, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her kidnapping and murder, Reuters reports. Gomez first denied killing his half sister, but then led sheriff’s to Rosas’ remains after he was convicted of the crime on Oct. 31.

MONKEES TOURING … AGAIN: Hey, hey they’re going on tour, again. Three original members of the TV pop group “The Monkees” will reunite again next year for their first tour in four years, Reuters reports.

Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork will kick off their 15-city “Monkee Mania Returns 2001” tour in March.

All four original members, including Mike Nesmith, recorded a new album in 1996 and even toured for a short time before Nesmith dropped out, leaving the others to finish the North American tour that year.

CLEANING OUT THE CLOSET: Decked out in black leather, flamboyant British pop singer Elton John arrived to a celebratory breakfast today to kick off a fundraiser expected to raise $570,000 by selling more than 15,000 of the singer’s most outlandish outfits.

The proceeds will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The fundraiser, “Out of the Closet III,” marked the third time his wild stage clothes were sold to raise money. Items on sale range from cotton shirts for $56 to a grand piano going for about $71,000