Two steps below Alicia Keys' No. 1 album "Girl on Fire" this week is Rod Stewart's "Merry Christmas, Baby," which rose 6-3 with 117,000 sold. While the pop icon's set still seems like a sure thing to be the season's biggest holiday album, it just might not rise to blockbuster status, a la Michael Buble. His unstoppable "Christmas" set from 2011 was the year's second-biggest selling album behind Adele's "21."
Josh Groban's "Noel" refuses to budge for a fifth week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200, selling 757,000. Meanwhile, Mary J. Blige bows in the runner-up slot with her "Growing Pains" effort, shifting 629,000 ... Other debuts in the top 100 this week include new albums from Jaheim, Lupe Fiasco, Kirk Franklin and Chingy, as well as the latest WWE compilation and the "Sweeney Todd" film soundtrack.
Alicia Keys' "As I Am" debuts with 742,000 at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 -- the best sales week for a solo female artist since Norah Jones' "Feels Like Home" started with a million in 2004 ... Keys is only the third act to see their first four albums debut atop The Billboard 200 ... The latest "Now" compilation starts in the top 10, as does Celine Dion's new studio effort and Led Zeppelin's hits set "Mothership" ... Other big-named talent bowing on The Billboard 200 this week include George Strait, the Killers, James Taylor, Boyz II Men, Trisha Yearwood, Goo Goo Dolls, Duran Duran, Seal, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and the Hives.