The Billboard 200:
-- Kanye West: All but 43 of the albums on the Billboard 200 chart see an increase in sales this week, thanks to consumers stocking up on Christmas gifts. In the top 50, only seven sets post a decline. And of the seven, four are Christmas sets (which usually drop in sales around this time), two are albums in their second week on the chart (so it's natural to see a sophomore frame decrease), and one ... is Kanye West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" (down less than 1% at No. 23).
-- Leon Russell: It's a good week for Leon Russell. Not only did the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announce (Dec. 15) that he was going to be an inductee in 2011, but his collaboration album with Elton John, "The Union," drives up 35 spot to No. 51 (31,000; up 100%).
-- Taylor Swift: What a difference a few weeks makes. Just seven weeks ago, an album only needed to sell 26,000 to rank in the top 10 on the Billboard 200. This week, with holiday shopping at a fever pitch, 26,000 only gets you to No. 58, where Taylor Swift's "Holiday Collection" resides. No. 10 this week on the list is the "Glee, the Music: Season Two: Volume 4" album with 87,000.
-- Paul McCartney's turn as musical guest on the Dec. 11th edition of "Saturday Night Live" might help out a number of Beatles albums on the chart this week, as five of the fab four's titles post gains. McCartney not only performed on the Paul Rudd-hosted show, but also appeared in a handful of skits and showed up on the opening monologue. This week, the chart houses the band's "Abbey Road" (No. 133; up 21%), "1967-1970" (No. 137; up 17%), "1962-1966" (No. 159; up 16%), "The Beatles [White Album]" (No. 172; up 27%) and "1" (No. 174; up 43%). McCartney's own "Band on the Run" re-enters at No. 198 with a 55% climb.
The Billboard Hot 100:
-- Katy Perry: Her "Firework" lights up the Hot 100 for a third consecutive week as it continues its climb up the Hot 100 Airplay chart, taking the Airplay Gainer award with a 6-3 move on radio list (119.3 million, up 20%, according to Nielsen BDS). Downloads, however, decline for a third consecutive frame as the title falls out of the top spot on Hot Digital Songs, dropping to No. 2 with 192,000 (down 5%), according to Nielsen SoundScan.
-- Bruno Mars: One explosive title makes way for another atop Hot Digital Songs as Bruno Mars' "Grenade" takes out "Firework," selling 212,000 downloads (up 14%). The title is Mars' third to lead Hot Digital Songs following B.o.B's "Nothin' On You," on which he was featured, and "Just the Way You Are." On the Hot 100, "Grenade" gravitates 3-2 and is in prime position to take over the No. 1 slot next week. Meanwhile, "Just the Way You Are" remains in the Hot 100 top 10 for a 15th week, moving 7-6.
-- Rihanna: She continues to occupy two slots in the Hot 100's top 10 with her former No. 1s "What's My Name?," featuring Drake (2-3) and "Only Girl (In the World)" (6-7). The former track replaces the latter single at No. 1 on Hot 100 Airplay, marking the first time that an artists has swapped titles atop that list since T.I. posted back-to-back chart-toppers in November 2008 with "Whatever You Like" and "Live Your Life," which coincidentally featured Rihanna.
-- Lil Wayne: The rapper debuts in the top 10 for the second time as a lead artist as "6 Foot 7 Foot" stomps in at No. 9, selling 166,000 downloads in its first week of release. The title also opens at No. 3 on Hot Digital Songs. Lil Wayne recently started at No. 6 in September with "Right Above It" which opened at No. 1 on Digital Songs with 225,000. His new track starts with significantly more traction at radio in its debut week (10.9 million listener impressions) compared to "Right Above It's" sum (4.2 million) when itred h entered the chart. Weezy performed "6 Foot," the purported first single from the upcoming "Tha Carter IV", on the Dec. 18 edition of "Saturday Night Live."
-- R. Kelly: The R&B icon returns to the list for only the second time since 2007 as "When a Woman Loves" debuts at No. 93. He was last on the list when "Number One," a top 10 hit on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, fell significantly short of it title on the Hot 100, peaking at No. 59 in November 2009. Since he first arrived on the Hot 100 in 1992, billed as R. Kelly & Public Announcement, through 2007 Kelly averaged roughly three Hot 100 songs per year, so the slow down has been noticeable. His last top 10 as a lead artist came way back in 2003 when "Step in the Name of Love" peaked at No. 9.
-- Mariah Carey: The expectant mother charts her second-ever seasonal track on the Hot 100 as "Oh Santa!" opens at No. 100. Carey's 1994 holiday staple "All I Want for Christmas Is You," which Billboard ranked as the most recent season's No. 1 Holiday Song, spent one week on the Hot 100 and peaked at No. 83, but not until 2000. The title was solely available for many years as an album track from her "Merry Christmas" set which prevented it from charting on the Hot 100. Up until December 1998, a song required a physical single counterpart in order to be eligible for inclusion on the Hot 100.
For the past several years, the sole limitation for holiday songs on the Hot 100 is that they must have been released during the current holiday season. Any songs that charted on a Billboard list or appeared on an album released in a prior year are not eligible.