CHART BUZZ: Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Bruno Mars

Posted December 22, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in News

Taylor Swift back on top, Michael still King of Pop, R. Kelly’s new album drops, Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” doesn’t know when to stop and new debuts in R&B took a drop

Taylor Swift’s Speak Now returned to No. 1 after Susan Boyle’s reign at No. 1 broke during the week of Christmas. Boyle’s holiday-themed album The Gift dropped to No. 2, while Michael Jackson’s first posthumous full-length album, Michael, proves he’s still the King of Pop; debuting at No. 3.

Swift’s unit sales were up 29 percent (259,000) this week , while Boyle’s album (up 5 percent) sold 254,000 units. Jackson’s new album sold 228,000; a number that ultimately succeeded earlier projections.

With ‘Glee’s’ Christmas album and Jackie Evancho’s holiday EP taking the next set of spots, R. Kelly and Diddy’s latest group Diddy-Dirty Moneyclaimed the No. 6 and No. 7 spots respectively. Although Diddy’s new album claimed the 7th spot, it only sold 101,000 units. His last album, Press Play, released in 2006, soared to No. 1 selling 170,000 units.

American Idol winners and runner-ups were also battling their way on the Billboard 200 and proved to be another disappointing week for them. Crystal Bowersox’s debut, Farmer’s Daughter, sold 58,000 units but bowed in at No. 28. Lee DeWyze’s album, Live It Up, which debuted a few weeks ago at No. 19, was last seen at No. 123.

Holiday albums are still performing well, so are holiday singles. Coldplay’s first holiday anthem, “Christmas Lights,” burned its way to No. 1 on the Holiday Digital Songs’ survey, while Mariah Carey’s 1994 classic skipped to No. 2 after dominating the top spot much of the holiday semester. A remake of the song is featured on Carey’s latest album release, Merry Christmas II You. Carey also dashed her way to the No. 1 spot on the Adult Contemporary chart with “Oh, Santa;” climbing from 12-1.

Another terrible week for R&B as droves of artists manage to release new music around the holiday times with disappointing results. Hip-hop acts Kanye West and Nicki Minaj are the only exception. These are the numbers for R&B debuts:

Tank; Now or Never: #35; 44,000
Ciara; Basic Instinct:  #44; 37,000
Kandi (of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ fame); Kandi Koated: #91; 18,000

New albums from Keri Hilson (No Boys Allowed), Jamie Foxx (Best Night of My Life), Keyshia Cole (Calling All Hearts), Avant (The Letter) and David Banner (Death of a Pop Star) are hoping to kill the grueling recession in R&B/hip-hop this week.

The bright spot in R&B comes from soul veteran Charlie Wilson, with his successful single “You Are” soaring to  No. 1 on the Adult R&B survey. The song currently sits at No. 14 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart; rising from last week’s 16th spot. His new album, Just Charlie, debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200.

As for singles’ territory on the Digital Songs chart, Bruno Mars advances from 2-1 with “Grenade;” the song’s first time claiming the No. 1 spot. Katy Perry trails at No. 2 with “Firework.” Last week, Katy Perry became the first female artist in 11 years to take three straight radio singles from an album to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; beginning with “California Gurls” and then her follow-up “Teenage Dream.” The last recording artist to perform such a feat was Monica with three singles from her 1998 album The Boy Is Mine.


Swift Back at No. 1 on Billboard 200, ‘Michael’ Bows at No. 3 (Billboard)

CHART BUZZ is a bi-monthly series tracing the latest airplay, radio impressions  and unit sales numbers goverened by Billboard and measured by Nielsen Soundscan. For more chart information and additional chart data, go to or Visit our abbrievated Billboard and iTunes charts at:

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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