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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Groban Ties Elvis With Third Week At No. 1

December 12, 2007, 10:50 AM ET
Katie Hasty, N.Y.

With the holiday season marching on, Josh Groban's "Noel" retains its lead on The Billboard 200 for a third week straight. With an 8% sales increase, the 143/Reprise set moved 581,000 units in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. Groban thus ties Elvis Presley as the record-holder for the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 with a Christmas album.

Alicia Keys' "As I Am" (J) climbs a notch 3-2 with 234,000 (-9%), while the Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" (Eagles Recording Co.) flip-flops with it, falling 2-3 with 204,000 (-35%). The multi-label "Now 26" hits compilation holds tight at No. 4 for a second week with 158,000, with a 25% sales boost.

Miley Cyrus' Disney double-disc set "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" ascends 7-5 with a 37% increase to 132,000. Another Disney sequel set, "High School Musical 2," keeps the No. 6 spot warm for a third week straight with 128,000 (+31%). Selling 107,000, Carrie Underwood's "Carnival Ride" (Arista Nashville) slides up 9-7 with a 20% sales bump. Meanwhile, Garth Brooks' Pearl set "The Ultimate Hits" slips 5-8 with a 7% sales hit to 105,000.

Big Machine artist Taylor Swift's self-titled debut re-enters the top tier 12-9 at 99,000 with a 39% sales boost. The young singer earned a best new artist Grammy nod last week and has also scored her first No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs tally with "Our Song."

This year's "American Idol" runner-up, Blake Lewis, starts at No. 10 with his debut album, "Audio Day Dream" (19 Recordings/Arista), moving 98,000. Lewis' opening sales week and chart debut is lower than that of three other "AI" runner-ups' debuts (Clay Aiken, Bo Bice and Katharine McPhee), but larger than two others (Justin Guarini and Diana DeGarmo).

Other big debuts this week include Houston rapper Scarface's "Made" (Rap A Lot, No. 17, 63,000), Trace Adkins' "American Man: Greatest Hits Volume II" (Capitol, No. 22, 53,000), Drama's "Gangsta Grillz: The Album" (AMG/Grand Hustle/Atlantic, No. 26, 49,000), Wyclef Jean's "Carnival Vol. II: Memories of an Immigrant" (Columbia, No. 28, 46,000), Godsmack's hits compilation "Good Times, Bad Times... Ten Years of Godsmack" (Universal, No. 35, 40,000) and rapper Ghostface Killah's "The Big Doe Rehab" (Def Jam, No. 41, 36,000).

Sales this week (14.45 million units) are down 23.3% from the same week last year (18.86 million). This week's sum is up 17.9% from last week's.