The Big News: After a rough year, Christmas finally arrived for the compact-disc industry, as the top twenty-three albums on the Billboard 200 sold more than 100,000. Josh Groban's Noel led the way by moving an additional 758,590 copies to spend yet another week at Number One. Mary J. Blige's Growing Pains debuted strongly with 629,000, enough to grab the two spot from the clutches of Alicia Keys' As I Am, which fell to three despite selling 473,768 discs, a figure that propelled it to double-platinum status.
Debuts: After Blige, Jaheim was the next highest-ranking debut, as his Makings of a Man had the makings of an eleven-spot entry, thanks to 175,910 copies sold. Lupe Fiasco's sophomore set The Cool had a solid week, as the Chicago MC took number fifteen with 143,407 copies. The Sweeney Todd soundtrack arrived at fifty-six, Chingy's Love It or Hate It landed at eighty-four and, proving that Weezer fans don't give an eff about Xmas, Rivers Cuomo's Alone -- The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo, stumbled out of the gate, selling only 14,163 copies on its way to 153.
Last Week's Heroes: Mary J. elbowed her way in, but last week's top ten stayed mostly intact, with Mannheim Steamroller and Garth Brooks dropping to the low-teens to make room for Blige and Chris Brown. The big week helped put some more platinum records on the walls of rockers' bathrooms, as Groban climbed past three million, Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight eked past double platinum and MySpace sensation Colbie Caillat managed to sell one million copies of Coco. Next week, in what may mark the end of Groban's reign, Keys and Blige will likely duke it out for the crown.