The Billboard Hot 100:
As previously reported Rihanna matches her longest Billboard Hot 100 reign, as "We Found Love," featuring Calvin Harris, spends a seventh week at No. 1. Who else makes notable moves this week?
-- Adele: Billboard's artist of the year, and the first woman ever to triple up on winning the category and scoring the year's top Billboard 200 album ("21") and top Hot 100 song ("Rolling in the Deep"), sends the set's third pop single, "Set Fire to the Rain," 37-21. The track sizzles 32-17 on Hot Digital Songs (57,000, up 39%, according to Nielsen SoundScan) and 51-34 on Hot 100 Airplay (32 million, up 52%, according to Nielsen BDS).
-- Justin Bieber: His "Mistletoe" stormed the Hot 100 at No. 11 seven weeks ago, then fell to No. 75; departed the chart for a week; and, since charted at Nos. 85-96-60-44. This week, the carol returns to the top 40 (No. 34), rising 21-16 on Hot Digital Songs (60,000, up 23%). Its initial availability spurred its lofty early November launch and, now that the holiday season has hit its stride, sales for the song have unsurprisingly surged. Radio is also supporting the song, which lifts 5-4 on Adult Contemporary. It's also No. 2 for a third week on Billboard's new sales/airplay/streaming hybrid Holiday Songs chart.
-- Zac Brown Band: "Keep Me in Mind" reaches the top 40 (41-35) as it becomes the fourth No. 1 on Hot Country Songs from the group's album "You Get What You Give." The last group to bank four leaders on Hot Country Songs from one album? Also Zac Brown Band, with its 2008 release "The Foundation." Only two other groups have ever pulled off the impressive feat: Lonestar and Alabama (twice).
-- Avril Lavigne: After charting for a week in March when her fourth album, "Goodbye Lullaby," debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 4, the set's second single "Wish You Were Here" returns to the Hot 100 at No. 84. The ballad re-enters Pop Digital Songs at No. 35 (16,000, up 29%) and jumps 27-25 on Adult Top 40 while spending a third week at its No. 32 peak-to-date on Mainstream Top 40.
-- Kelly Clarkson: Her holiday single, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," debuts at No. 93, marking the song's highest Hot 100 placement. The only other charted version of the seasonal standard, first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943? Josh Groban's, which spent a week at No. 95 (Dec. 30, 2006). Clarkson's cover enters Holiday Digital Songs at No. 3 (23,000).
The Billboard 200:
There was no stopping Michael Buble's "Christmas" album this past week, as it held court at No. 1 for a third frame selling 479,000 (up 64%) according to Nielsen SoundScan. In the No. 2 slot, we saw the Black Keys' "El Camino" bowed with 206,000, marking the band's best sales week and highest charting album. As usual, there were a bevy of interesting chart moves outside the top 10 -- let's take a look at a few of them:
-- Justin Bieber: There's certainly room for more than one holiday album this year on the charts -- as proven by the eight Christmas efforts in the top 25 this week. After Buble at No. 1, there's Justin Bieber's "Under the Mistletoe" (No. 4 with 158,000; up 19%), Jackie Evancho's "Heavenly Christmas" (No. 11 with 53,000; up 42%), Andrea Bocelli's "My Christmas" (No. 16 with 49,000; up 42%), She & Him's "Very She & Him Christmas" (No. 18 with 46,000; up 79%), the "Glee, the Music: The Christmas Album Volume 2" (No. 19 with 44,000; up 9%), Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas Symphony" (No. 24 with 36,000; up 6%) and Josh Groban's "Noel" (No. 25 with 35,000; up 37%).
-- "Sons of Anarchy": Following the season finale of FX's TV show "Sons of Anarchy" on Dec. 6, its "Songs of Anarchy" companion album takes a whopping 225% sales jump, entering at No. 130 with 9,000 sold. The set features the show's so-called "house band" (a term used to define the act known as the Forest Rangers, who have appeared in a number of episodes) as well as the series' co-star, Katey Sagal. The latter's take on "Strange Fruit" recently debuted on the Blues Digital Songs chart, marking the first time the Golden Globe-winning actress/singer had appeared on a Billboard music chart since her album "Well. . ." debuted and peaked at No. 33 on Heatseekers Albums in 1994.
-- Robin Thicke: The singer has a under-the-radar debut with his new album, "Love After War," as it arrives at No. 22 with 41,000. His last two sets both started in the top 10: 2008's "Something Else" launched at No. 3 with 137,000 and 2009's "Sex Therapy: The Session" began at No. 9 with 123,000. Though, to keep things in perspective, "Sex" was released on Dec. 15, in the thick(e) of the Christmas shopping season. No doubt the timing of the release certainly helped bolster its first week sales.
-- Neil Diamond: Billed as "the first Neil Diamond collection to draw from the artist's complete studio discography," the icon's "The Very Best of Neil Diamond - the Original Studio Recordings" debuts at No. 46 with 23,000 sold. It's his highest-charting hits package (and he's released a lot of them) since 1974's "His 12 Greatest Hits" peaked at No. 29. The new 23-song album spans the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's entire recording career and contains all but two of his 13 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits ("Heartlight," a No. 5 single from 1982 and "Longfellow Serenade," which reached No. 5 in 1974).