Lady Gaga's 'Marry The Night' Video Leaks Online
Lady Gaga's 'Marry The Night' Video Leaks Online

Ask Billboard is updated every week. As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, sales and airplay, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S.

HOW MERRY WAS MICHAEL BUBLE'S 'CHRISTMAS'?

Hi Gary!

I am a longtime fan of the "Ask Billboard" column and I very much enjoy your professionalism and accuracy when discussing various charts and artists.

Now that the 2011 holiday season is behind us, it is clear that the adult contemporary crowd is a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by Michael Buble's late surge to notching the second-best-selling album of 2011, "Christmas," according to Nielsen SoundScan year-end data (after Adele's "21").

I was wondering if "Christmas" now stacks up among the 10 top-selling holiday sets of the 20-year SoundScan era.

Keep up the great work!

Best regards,

Marc Wilson
Urbana, Illinois

Hi Marc,

Have you finished your 2012 holiday shopping yet? Just 11 months and two days until Christmas!

(Sorry, just trying to beat advertisers to the punch).

While Buble scored an impressive run with "Christmas," which led the Billboard 200 for five weeks, the set will need at least another yuletide season before it ranks among the 10 best-selling holiday albums in the U.S. dating to the advent of SoundScan data in 1991.

Here is an updated look the top 10:

1, "Miracles - the Holiday Album," Kenny G (7.3 million)
2, "Noel," Josh Groban (5.5)
3, "These Are Special Times," Celine Dion (5.2)
4, "Merry Christmas," Mariah Carey (5.2)
5, "Christmas in the Aire," Mannheim Steamroller (3.7)
6, "A Fresh Aire Christmas," Mannheim Steamroller (3.6)
7, "Christmas," Mannheim Steamroller (3.5)
8, "Now That's What I Call Christmas!," various artists (3.4)
9, "Christmas Eve and Other Stories," Trans-Siberian Orchestra (3.3)
10, "When My Heart Finds Christmas," Harry Connick, Jr. (3.1)

To-date, Buble's "Christmas" has sold 2,455,000 copies. It even continues to sell post-Christmas, having racked sales of 1,000 last week and 2,000 the week before.

Another notable holiday album that will likely continue to build in sales in its second holiday season? Justin Bieber's "Under the Mistletoe," which has moved 1,250,000 in its first year of release.

Beyond their high pop culture profiles, what also helped Buble and Bieber log such strong sales? In part, radio airplay. Buble's ballad cover of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" spent five weeks atop Adult Contemporary, tying Josh Groban's "Believe" for the chart's longest reign for a holiday song, while Bieber's "Mistletoe" became the first holiday hit on the Pop Songs tally since 1999-2000.