The Big News: After reigning the entire holiday season, Josh Groban's Noel finally vacated Number One, landing at Number Three while Mary J. Blige's Growing Pains rose to the top of the charts, selling 204,258 copies. Alicia Keys' As I Am continued its two-month-long top-three bounce around, charting at two with 193,211 copies in a post-Christmas week where only eleven of the non-debuting Top 200 Albums managed an increase in sales from the previous week.
Debuts: The week's top rookie was the much-anticipated High School Musical 2: Non-Stop Dance Party, which entered the charts at sixty-eight. The CD version of Radiohead's In Rainbows debuted way down at 156 with only 8,537 copies sold, however the album actually went on sale January 1st (this chart closed December 30th), so look for its true debut figures in next week's report.
Last Week's Heroes: Not as heroic. While twenty-three albums broke the 100,000-copies threshold last week, only three (Blige, Keys, Groban) passed that mark this week. The top of the list stayed largely the same, with Garth Brooks and Colbie Caillat reentering the top ten at the expense of Carrie Underwood and the non-Non-Stop Dance Party version of High School Musical 2. At number five, Chris Brown's Exclusive passed platinum, beating Jay-Z's American Gangster in their eight-week race to a million.