As previously reported, Alicia Keys' new album "Girl on Fire" is set to earn the highest debut next week on the Billboard 200 chart, with a No. 1 entrance likely. Industry sources suggest that the set, which hit retailers on Nov. 27, might sell between 145,000 to 170,000 copies by the end of the tracking week (Sunday, Dec. 2). "Fire" was the only major new release this past week that will sell a number that large.
Standing in Keys' way could be Taylor Swift's former No. 1 "Red," which sold 185,000 last week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and Rod Stewart's first holiday set, "Merry Christmas, Baby" (117,000 last week).
The new Billboard 200 chart's top 10 will be revealed the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 5.
As seen in the past, Christmas album sales grow larger in the weeks following Thanksgiving, and Stewart's should be no exception. It's also not the only holiday set aiming for a top 10 rank next week.
After debuting at No. 9 the week of Nov. 9, Lady Antebellum's "On This Winter's Night" has spent the past four weeks between Nos. 11 and 19 on the Billboard 200. Aided by the single "A Holly Jolly Christmas," which vaults 26-5 on Adult Contemporary this week, the seasonal set could return to the Billboard 200 top 10 next week.
Also potentially on tap for a top 10 return is Blake Shelton's "Cheers, It's Christmas." If it reaches the region, the album from the coach on NBC's "The Voice" would mark its first week in the top tier, having so far risen as high as No. 14 in its first eight chart weeks. The set's "Jingle Bell Rock," featuring Shelton's wife Miranda Lambert, bows this week at No. 57 on the Country Airplay chart.
Along with Keys, pop/electro duo Timeflies could storm the top 10 with its EP "One Night." The Boston-born, now Brooklyn, N.Y.-based pair reached No. 4 on Heatseekers Albums a year ago with "The Scotch Tape."
On Nielsen SoundScan's Building chart (below), Keys' "Fire" ranks at No. 1, followed by Swift's "Red" (No. 2), Stewart's "Christmas" (No. 3), Phillip Phillips' "The World From the Side of the Moon" (No. 4) and Rihanna's "Unapologetic" (No. 5), which became her first No. 1 this week with sales of 238,000.
As for the rest of the Building chart's top 10, One Direction's former topper "Take Me Home" places at No. 6, followed by Lady Antebellum's "Night" (No. 7), Shelton's "Cheers" (No. 8), Timeflies' "One Night" (No. 9) and Kid Rock's "Rebel Soul" (No. 10).
|Nielsen SoundScan Building Chart|
|1||NEW||Alicia Keys||"Girl on Fire"|
|3||6||Rod Stewart||"Merry Christmas, Baby"|
|4||4||Phillip Phillips||"The World From the Side of the Moon"|
|6||3||One Direction||"Take Me Home"|
|7||19||Lady Antebellum||"On This Winter's Night"|
|8||18||Blake Shelton||"Cheers, It's Christmas"|
|9||NEW||Timeflies||"One Night" (EP)|
|10||5||Kid Rock||"Rebel Soul"|
|The Building Chart reflects the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week (which ends Sunday) as reported by six major merchants: iTunes, Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Starbucks, Target and Anderson Merchandisers. Billboard estimates that they make up about 85% of all U.S. album sales.|