Boyle's "Dream" continues at No. 1 on album chart
By Keith Caulfield
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" held on to the No. 1 slot on the U.S. album chart Wednesday.
The former reality contestant's first release scored sales of 527,000 copies during the week ended December 6, according to Nielsen SoundScan. After two weeks of release, "I Dreamed a Dream" is the 10th-biggest-selling album of the year with 1.23 million sold.
Boyle fended off the advances of Andrea Bocelli, whose "My Christmas" held at No. 2 for a fourth week with 428,000. Bocelli's set surpassed a million in total sales in its fifth week (1.12 million) to become his best-selling album since the release of "Amore" in 2006 (1.66 million).
Conventional wisdom indicates that sales of "My Christmas" should increase as the date inches closer to December 25. That would give the album the chance to approach the total sales racked up by Bocelli's two best-selling sets: "Romanza" (1997; 4.2 million) and "Sogno" (1999; 2.5 million).
While Boyle and Bocelli fought for the top slot, the highest debut on the Billboard 200 chart belonged to R. Kelly's "Untitled," which arrived at No. 4 with sales of 114,000. All nine of Kelly's solo studio albums have reached the top four positions on the chart, stretching back to his solo bow with "12 Play" in 1993.
Kelly's "Untitled" was the lone debut in the top 10 during the week. The next-highest entry comes from the soundtrack to "Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel," at No. 28 with 39,000.
Taylor Swift's seemingly unstoppable "Fearless" spent its 47th week in the top 10, rising from No. 8 to No. 3 with 127,000, while Lady Gaga's "The Fame" moved up one spot to No. 5 with 84,000. Carrie Underwood's "Play On" slid up three positions to No. 6 with 81,000, Norah Jones' "The Fall" rose three rungs to No. 7 with 80,000 and Michael Jackson's "This Is It" climbed from No. 11 to No. 8 with 75,000.
Rounding out the top 10 are the soundtrack to "New Moon" at No. 9 (up three slots with 72,000) and Michael Buble's "Crazy Love" at No. 10 (up from No. 18 with 72,000).
Overall album sales for the week totaled 10.14 million units, down 5 percent from the previous week and down 10 percent from the year-earlier week. Year-to-date album sales stand at 330.3 million, a 13 percent drop from the comparable total in 2008.