Eminem was the top-seller among last-minute Christmas shoppers, as "Encore" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) returns to the top of The Billboard 200. U.S. sales of the set are up 36% from last week to 430

Eminem was the top-seller among last-minute Christmas shoppers, as "Encore" (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope) returns to the top of The Billboard 200. U.S. sales of the set are up 36% from last week to 430,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

"Encore" now has three non-consecutive weeks at No. 1, following a two-week stay in November. The title bumps last week's chart-topper, Tupac Shakur's posthumous "Loyal to the Game" (Amaru/Interscope), to No. 13 on a 34% slump to 219,000 copies.

Fueled again by holiday shopping, each album in the top 10 sees gains this week. The 17th installment of "NOW That's What I Call Music!" (Sony BMG/Universal/EMI/Zomba/Capitol) holds on to the No. 2 slot for a second week, with sales of 356,000 -- a rise of 10%, the smallest increase in the top 10.

U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Interscope) makes a two-spot climb to No. 3 on a 17% bump to 350,000. Destiny's Child's "Destiny Fulfilled" (Sony Urban/Columbia) jumps two positions to No. 4 on a 31% jolt that brings it just shy of U2.

Despite an 11% gain, Shania Twain's Mercury Nashville hits set drops 4-5, with 347,000 copies. Usher's "Confessions" (LaFace/Zomba) remains hot, rising 9-6 rise on a 33% gain to 316,000.
Toby Keith's "Greatest Hits 2" (DreamWorks Nashville/Interscope) moves up one spot to No. 7 on a 21% increase to 289,000.

"MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents Jay-Z and Linkin Park: Collision Course" (Machine Shop/Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) scrambles back to No. 8, after falling to No. 10 last week. Sales are up 20% to 283,000.

Green Day's "American Idiot" (Reprise/Warner Bros.) moves 13-9, thanks to the 39% jump to 282,000.

And after last week's 1-12 spiral, Ludacris' "Red Light District" (Disturbing Tha Peace/Def Jam South) regains its top-10 footing, moving 12-10 on a 20% gain to 258,000.

Hip-hop mogul Mannie Fresh is the only artist to bow near the top 50 this week, as his solo debut, "The Mind of Mannie Fresh" (Cash Money/Universal), enters at No. 59 with 70,000 units. As a member of Southern rap duo Big Tymers, the Cash Money producer went to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in 2003 with "Hood Rich." While that album debuted in the top slot, 2002's "I Got That Work" remains the duo's best-selling album to date, with a 1.4 million total and a No. 3 peak.

Overall U.S. album sales are up 17.5% from last week at 32.7 million units, a 4.4% lead over the comparable week last year. Sales for 2004 are beating those of last year by 1.4%, at 665 million units.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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