Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Nat King Cole Collects First Top 40 Album in More Than 50 Years

AP Photo
Nat King Cole

Plus: Frank Sinatra scores record-extending 58th top 40-charting album & Gene Autry earns first-ever charting set.

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Jan. 6), Taylor Swift’s Reputation returns to No. 1 for a fourth nonconsecutive week, earning 107,000 equivalent album units (down 19 percent) in the week ending Dec. 28, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 79,000 were in traditional album sales (down 24 percent).

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).    

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the rest of the Billboard 200:

Soundtrack, Pitch Perfect 3 – No. 23 The Pitch Perfect 3 soundtrack jumps into the top 40 (rising 61-23 with 26,000 units; up 67 percent) after the film opened in theaters on Dec. 22. The Pitch Perfect 2 album debuted at No. 1, while the first Pitch set peaked at No. 3.      

Nat King Cole, The Christmas Song – No. 29 — Nat King Cole scores his first top 40-charting album on the Billboard 200 in more than 50 years, as The Christmas Song rises 48-29. The holiday set — buoyed by the classic title track’s on-demand audio streams — earned 21,000 equivalent album units (up 24 percent) in the week ending Dec. 28, according to Nielsen Music. It’s not surprising to see some albums earn gains on the latest Billboard 200 chart, since the latest tracking week included the three days leading up to Christmas (Dec. 22-24), as well as the holiday itself (Dec. 25). Cole was last in the top 40 with Ramblin’ Rose, which spent its final week in the top 40 on the tally dated Jan. 15, 1966 (after earlier peaking at No. 7 (April 24, 1965).   

Frank Sinatra, Ultimate Christmas – No. 30 — Frank Sinatra extends his record for the most top 40-charting albums on the Billboard 200 as Ultimate Christmas rises 45-30 (21,000 units; up 12 percent). The set is Sinatra’s 58th top 40 set, and first since 2015, when the greatest hits package Ultimate Sinatra peaked at No. 32 (May 9, 2015).

Guns N’ Roses, Greatest Hits — No. 135 — The best-of album surpasses 6 million in total U.S. sales, as it sold another 4,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 28 (up 14 percent). The set's sales now stand at 6.002 million. The album was released in 2004, peaked at No. 3, and has spent 425 weeks on the list. Since the release of the Hits album, the band has released one studio set — Chinese Democracy, in 2008, which topped out at No. 3.

Gene Autry, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Other Christmas Classics – No. 157 The entertainer, who died in 1998, collects his first entry on the Billboard 200 with this holiday collection. Most of its total units (7,000; up 19 percent) for the week were driven by the album’s title song.


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