With a fourth week at No. 1 for his "Noel" on The Billboard 200, Josh Groban carves himself a piece of chart history.

This becomes the first Christmas set in the 51-year history of Billboard's weekly album chart to hold the top rung for four consecutive weeks, and only the second to chalk up that many chart-topping weeks. Elvis Presley's "Elvis' Christmas Album," which became the first seasonal title to reach No. 1 in 1957, was the only other one to lead the list for four weeks, but the fourth of those frames was not consecutive.

When Nielsen SoundScan refreshes its charts tomorrow morning (Dec. 19), Groban's "Noel" will show a 15% gain for a weekly sum of 669,000, the largest stanza for any Christmas album since Kenny G's "Miracles -- The Holiday Album" rang 819,000 in the Christmas week of 1994. That is the largest week measured by a holiday album in Nielsen SoundScan history.

More significantly, with this volley, Groban's "Noel" becomes the bestselling album of the calendar year, overtaking "High School Musical 2." The former now approaches 2.8 million copies since its Oct. 2 release, while the Walt Disney soundtrack has posted 2.7 million since it reached stores Aug. 14.

"High School Musical 2" holds at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 but shows a 39% increase, which takes its total to 178,000. The album’s growth was fueled by the Dec. 11 DVD release of the Disney Channel film. Regardless of whether "HSM 2" or "Noel" ends up being the year's bestseller, the winner will have the latest release date on any year's top-unit title since Nielsen SoundScan launched in 1991.

"Noel" also becomes the first album since No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" in December 1996 to lead the chart for four straight weeks with gains in each of those weeks.

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