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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Groban Remains No. 1, Becomes '07's Best-Seller

December 19, 2007, 11:20 AM ET
Katie Hasty, N.Y.

Josh Groban sets a new record on The Billboard 200 with "Noel," becoming the first Christmas album to top the chart for four straight weeks. The 143/Reprise set moved 669,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 15% increase from last week's sum. Elvis Presley's "Elvis' Christmas Album" also sat on top for four weeks, but non-consecutively.

With total sales at 2.77 million, "Noel" has now surpassed the "High School Musical 2" soundtrack as this year's top selling album.

Alicia Keys' "As I Am" (J) sits tight at No. 2 for a second week with 292,000, a 24% sales hike. The Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" (Eagles Recording Co.) stays at No. 3 with 241,000 (+18%) and the multi-label "Now 26" hits compilation keeps No. 4 warm for a third week with 191,000 (+21%).

Mannheim Steamroller's American Gramophone set "Christmas Song" rockets up 11-5 with 180,000, a whopping 98% increase as the Christmas holiday draws near. "High School Musical 2" holds tight at No. 6 for a fourth week straight with a 39% sales boost to 178,000. Moving 177,000 copies, Miley Cyrus' Disney double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" slips 5-7 despite a 34% advance.

Big Machine artist Taylor Swift's self-titled debut ascends 9-8 with 139,000 (+40%), while another country effort, Carrie Underwood's "Carnival Ride" (Arista Nashville), falls 7-9 with a 29% increase to 137,000. Garth Brooks' Pearl set "The Ultimate Hits" drifts down 8-10 despite a 14% uplift to 119,000.

Bow Wow & Omarion's T.U.G./Columbia collaboration "Face Off" is the week's top debut, entering at No. 11 with 107,000. Last December, Bow Wow's "The Price of Fame" started at No. 6 with 262,000 while one week later, Omarion's "21" bowed at No. 1 on the chart with 119,000.

Other debuts this week, which are largely hip-hop and R&B efforts, include Birdman's "5*Stunna" (Cash Money) at No. 18 with 86,000, Mario's "Go" (J) at No. 21 with 77,000, the Wu-Tang Clan's reunion album "8 Diagrams" (SRC Records) at No. 25 with 68,000, The-Dream's "Love/Hate" (Def Jam) at No. 30 with 59,000 and rapper Beanie Sigel's "The Solution" (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam) at No. 37 with 49,000.

Sales this week (17.98 million units) are down 23.1% compared to the same week last year (23.39 million). This week's sum is up 24.4% from last week's.