Taylor Swift Edges Susan Boyle For 2009's Top-Selling Album

Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" reigns for a sixth straight week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 137,000 (down 73%) according to Nielsen SoundScan, bringing her cumulative sales total up to 3,104,000. However, while that is a huge sales sum -- especially considering it was totaled in just six weeks time -- it's not enough to overtake Taylor Swift's "Fearless" as 2009's top selling album. The latter is at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 this week, selling another 60,000 -- bringing its 2009 total to 3,217,000.

Of course, Boyle can rest easy in knowing that her "Dream" is but one of just two albums to sell at least 3 million copies in the U.S. last year -- something that hasn't happened since 2006, when three albums did it. Boyle's "Dream" is also 2009's top selling album released last year (Swift's "Fearless" dropped in late 2008), and was also the top selling physical album of 2009. Of its overall 2009 total, physical CDs accounted for 3,019,000 copies, whereas digital downloads made up a rather tiny 86,000.

Taylor Swift photos | Susan Boyle photos

Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" is 2009's third biggest-selling album, with 2.36 million according to SoundScan, while Lady Gaga's "The Fame" is fourth with 2.24 million. Andrea Bocelli's recent release "My Christmas" powered through 2.21 million in just nine weeks, making it the year's fifth best. The soundtrack to "Hannah Montana: the Movie" is sixth (1.82 million), followed by the Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." (No. 7 with 1.79 million), Eminem's "Relapse" (No. 8 with 1.74 million), Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" (No. 9 with 1.52 million) and Kings of Leon's "Only By the Night" (No. 10 with 1.40 million).

Fans of Michael Jackson will also be pleased to find out that the King of Pop owns four of the year's top 20 best-selling albums. Not only is "Number Ones" at No. 3 on the year-end list, but the top 20 also houses "This Is It" (No. 12 with 1.29 million), "Thriller" (No. 14 with 1.27 million) and "The Essential Michael Jackson" (No. 20 with 1.15 million).

Jackson is the biggest selling albums artist for 2009 with more than 8.2 million album sales for the year. Swift comes in as the second biggest selling albums artist for 2009 with 4.6 million album sales and the second straight year of 4 million or more album sales.

For the 52-week period January 5, 2009 through January 3, 2010, there were 373.9 million albums sold in the U.S., down 12.7% compared to the same frame of 2008 where 428.4 million albums were sold. However, digital album sales in the same time frame comparison were up a hearty 16.1% -- to an all-time high of 76.4 million in 2009 versus 65.8 million in 2008.

Vinyl LP aficionados can also celebrate in knowing that vinyl album sales totaled 2.5 million in 2009, up a whopping 33% compared to 2008 (1.88 million). More vinyl albums were purchased in 2009 than any other year in the history of Nielsen SoundScan (since 1991).

Total music purchases in 2009 -- which include albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks -- reached the 1.5 billion mark, making it the fifth consecutive year music sales have exceeded 1 billion [1.5 billion (2008), 1.4 billion (2007), 1.2 billion (2006), and 1.01 billion (2005)].

As for the top selling digital songs of the year, 2009 marked the first time a digital song broke the four million sales mark in a single year. And even better -- four songs sailed past the 4 million mark.

The Black Eyed Peas own the Nos. 1 and 2 sellers: "Boom Boom Pow" (4.76 million) and "I Gotta Feeling" (4.43 million). Not to be outdone, Lady Gaga nets both the Nos. 3 and 5 biggest selling tunes with "Poker Face" (4.38 million) and "Just Dance" (3.20 million), respectively. Flo Rida's "Right Round" (No. 4, 4.13 million), Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." (No. 6, 3.16 million), Jay Sean's "Down" (No. 7, 3.05 million), All-American Rejects' "Gives You Hell" (No. 8, 2.88 million), Owl City's "Firelfies" (No. 9, 2.75 million) and Jason DeRulo's "Whatcha Say" (No. 10, 2.71 million) round out the rest of the year's top 10 best selling digital songs.

A whopping 1.159 billion digital tracks were sold in 2009, up 8.3% compared to 2008 (1.070 billion). The biggest selling act, in terms of digital song downloads, was Lady Gaga with more than 15 million in track sales.