Sources Say Crooner's 'Christmas' Will Outmuscle Big Debuts From Rihanna, Nickelback
It would seem Rihanna  will yet again be denied her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200  chart. Industry sources suggest that her new "Talk That Talk" album, released Nov. 21, may sell around 200,000 by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, Nov. 27 -- but that won't be enough to score the No. 1 album next week.
So who will be No. 1 next week? Perhaps surprisingly, it could be Michael Buble, with his "Christmas" album. Sources say that it will not only easily sell more than Rihanna's "Talk," but it could also trump the debut of Nickelback's new "Here and Now" album.
"Christmas" will mark Buble's third No. 1 album, following "Call Me Irresponsible" (2007) and "Crazy Love" (2009). "Christmas" could end up being the top selling album every week through the Christmas holiday, much like how Josh Groban's "Noel" took over the charts in late 2007. In its seventh week on the chart, "Noel" jumped to No. 1 and then held the top slot for four more weeks. By the end of the year, "Noel" had sold 3.7 million in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, and became the top selling album of the year.
Rather amazingly, Rihanna has yet to score a No. 1 album in her prolific -- yet still young -- career. How prolific? "Talk That Talk" is her sixth studio set in a little more than six years. Despite her staggering success with singles on the Billboard Hot 100  chart (11 No. 1s and counting), she's never gone higher than No. 2 on the Billboard 200 (with 2007's "Good Girl Gone Bad"). Her best sales week for an album was for 2010's "Loud," which shifted 207,000 in its premiere frame at No. 3.
This week's No. 1 album, Drake's "Take Care," will likely fall to around Nos. 3 or 4, though it's too early to tell what it may sell.
As for the other new releases heading for a top 10 debut next week, we've got Mary J. Blige's "My Life II: The Journey Continues, Act I," Daughtry's "Break the Spell," Taylor Swift's "Speak Now World Tour Live" and possibly Big Time Rush's second album "Elevate." Blige may sell around 130,000 while Daughtry could start with 120,000. Swift is set to sell 70,000 to 90,000.
Big Time Rush's "Elevate" is perhaps the surprise of the week, as the made-for-Nick TV band will notch its best sales week yet, with around 95,000 sold. That will surpass the group's previous high, when its "BTR" soundtrack opened with 67,000 at No. 3 in October of 2010.
Come back to Billboard.com on Nov. 30 when we'll reveal the Billboard 200's official top 10 albums, along with their SoundScan-reported sales numbers.
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