The Big News: Susan Boyle continued her British Invasion of the Billboard Top 200 as I Dreamed a Dream remained Number One for a second consecutive week, selling another 527,000 copies to hit platinum at almost a Carter III-like pace. Following the history-making debut Boyle had last week, the Britain’s Got Talent runner-up set another record by having the fastest-selling debut album after a two-week period in chart history. Andrea Bocelli’s My Christmas remained the seasonal disc of choice as its post-Black Friday sales rocketed up 97 percent to 428,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan, helping Bocelli surpass platinum status on its way to Number Two.
While last week’s huge slate of debuts fell out of the Top 10 due to double-digit percent sale decreases, Taylor Swift’s Fearless jumped from Eight to Three as the Grammy-nominated album moved another 127,000 copies, a two percent increase over Black Friday. Only one debut managed to crack the Top 20 and the 100,000 sales barrier: R. Kelly’s Untitled, which placed at Four with 114,000 copies sold. Lady Gaga’s The Fame technically finished in fifth with 84,000 copies, but factor in the 65,000 copies of The Fame Monster at 13 and the Hot Diva actually had a better week than the charts suggest.
Debuts: Other than R. Kelly, it was a weak week for fresh records as the labels used up all their big guns for Black Friday. American Idol‘s Allison Iraheta did not fair nearly as well as her co-stars Adam Lambert and Kris Allen as Just Like You managed only a Number 31 entry in its debut week with 32,000 copies. The magenta-haired singer was beat out by the Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel soundtrack, which will now threaten to test the high-frequency levels of 39,000 stereos after coming in at 25. Much further down, the Bravery’s Stir the Blood couldn’t even break the Top 100, settling for 103.
Last Week’s Heroes: Three of last week’s Top Five albums all dropped out of the Top 10, with Adam Lambert’s For Your Entertainment freefalling from Three to 19 thanks to a 74 percent sales decline. Rihanna’s Rated R suffered a similar fate, going from Four to 14. Moving up the charts in the wake of those albums was Carrie Underwood’s Play On, which hopped from Nine to Six in its fifth week on charts, and Norah Jones’ resilient The Fall, which rose from 10 to Seven. Also, after selling another 75,000 copies last week, Michael Jackson’s This Is It soundtrack is a mere 35K away from giving the King of Pop yet another platinum album.
Next week, we’ll find out if Chris Brown’s career is secure as Graffiti attempts to at least come close to the 295,000 copies Exclusive sold in when it debuted in 2007.