Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” wins out on the Billboard 200 over new albums from Keyshia Cole and Jamie Foxx as the young country singer’s set moves 330,000 . . . Cole’s “A Different Me” and Foxx’s “Intuition” start with 322,000 and 265,000 at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively . . . Four more new entries grace the top 20 from Fall Out Boy, Anthony Hamilton, Plies and the All-American Rejects . . . In Progress Reports, we have news on new No. 1 singles from Britney Spears, Rascal Flatts and the Pussycat Dolls . . . as well as a surprising dance hit from Weezer.
Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” becomes the first album by a woman to earn three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since Alicia Keys’ “As I Am” did four nonconsecutive weeks at the top earlier this year. Last week, “Fearless” moved 330,000 (up 33%), according to Nielsen SoundScan, beating out debuts from Keyshia Cole’s “A Different Me” (No. 2 with 322,000) and Jamie Foxx’s “Intuition” (No. 3 with 265,000).
This week’s Billboard 200 chart reflects the busiest shopping week of the year — the seven-day sales frame that ended Dec. 21. Overall album sales for the week stood at 17.2 million — down 33% compared with the week ending Dec. 23, 2007 (25.6 million). With one week left to go in the 2008 calendar year, album sales stand at 411 million — off 15% stacked next to 2007’s year-to-date tally (486 million).
Cole’s last album, “Just Like You,” started in the runner-up slot as well, shifting 281,000 when it streeted in September 2007. Foxx’s “Unpredictable” bowed exactly two years ago, starting at No. 2 with 598,000 before rising to No. 1 the following week with 200,000.
It’s worth noting that on last Friday’s Nielsen Building chart, Swift was trailing Cole and Foxx by a decent margin. Through the close of business last Thursday (Dec. 18), Cole’s “A Different Me” was at No. 1 with unweighted sales of 185,000 while Foxx’s “Intuition” was at No. 2 with 153,000. Swift was No. 3 with 141,000. However, the busy shopping weekend pushed Swift ahead in the race. (Billboard estimates the eight merchants who report to Nielsen SoundScan’s Building chart — Trans World Entertainment, Best Buy, Circuit City, iTunes, Starbucks, Borders, Target and Anderson Merchandisers — comprise about 80% of all U.S. album sales.)
Four more debuts start in the top 20 of the Billboard 200, starting with Fall Out Boy’s “Folie a Deux” at No. 8 with 150,000. The album, which was originally scheduled for a Nov. 4 release, is the follow-up to 2007’s “Infinity On High,” which debuted at No. 1 with 260,000 … Anthony Hamilton returns to the chart with “The Point of It All” at No. 12 with 133,000. His last new studio effort, “Ain’t Nobody Worryin’,” debuted and peaked at No. 19 in December 2005 with 112,000 . . . Plies’ third album, “Da Realist,” continues his “real” streak on the chart. It starts at No. 14 with 114,000. His first and second sets, “The Real Testament” and “Definition of Real,” both debuted and peaked at No. 2 (with 96,000 and 215,000, respectively) . . . the All-American Rejects see their “When the World Comes Down” enter at No. 15 with 112,000. The band’s last release, 2005’s “Move Along,” moved onto the chart at No. 6 with 90,000.
|The Billboard 200
Sales data provided and compiled from Nielsen SoundScan
|*1||1||TAYLOR SWIFT Fearless (Big Machine )||*11||6||KANYE WEST 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella / Def Jam / IDJMG)|
|*2||New||KEYSHIA COLE A Different Me (Imani / Geffen / IGA)||*12||New||ANTHONY HAMILTON The Point Of It All (Mister’s Music / So So Def / Zomba)|
|*3||New||JAMIE FOXX Intuition (J / RMG)||*13||10||DAVID COOK David Cook (19 / RCA / RMG)|
|4||2||BRITNEY SPEARS Circus (Jive / Zomba)||*14||New||PLIES Da REAList (Big Gates / Slip-N-Slide / Atlantic / AG)|
|*5||3||BEYONCE I Am…Sasha Fierce (Music World / Columbia / Sony Music)||*15||New||THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS When The World Comes Down (Doghouse / DGC / Interscope / IGA)|
|*6||4||NICKELBACK Dark Horse (Roadrunner )||*16||13||ENYA And Winter Came… (Reprise / Warner Bros.)|
|*7||5||SOUNDTRACK Twilight (Summit / Chop Shop / Atlantic / AG)||17||9||SOUNDTRACK High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Walt Disney )|
|*8||New||FALL OUT BOY Folie A Deux (Decaydance / Fueled By Ramen / Island / IDJMG)||*18||34||SOUNDTRACK Mamma Mia! (Decca )|
|*9||8||AC/DC Black Ice (Columbia / Sony Music)||*19||14||FAITH HILL Joy To The World (Warner Bros. (Nashville) / WRN)|
|*10||7||VARIOUS ARTISTS Now 29 (Universal / EMI / Sony BMG / Zomba / UMe)||*20||16||IL DIVO The Promise (SYCO / Columbia / Sony Music)|
|* indicates titles with greatest sales gains this week|
Album units, current chart week: 17.2 million units
UP 33% from last issue’s charts: 12.93 million units
DOWN 33% from same week, 2007: 25.6 million units
This week: The top 17 albums each sell more than 100,000 copies.
This week last year on the Billboard 200: Josh Groban’s “Noel” held at No. 1 with 757,000 (up 13%) while Mary J. Blige’s “Growing Pains” started at No. 2 with 629,000. The next-highest debut came from Lupe Fiasco’s “The Cool” at No. 15 with 143,000. The top 23 albums each sold more than 100,000.
The No. 1 album this week, Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” (Big Machine), sold 330,000.
The No. 1 album for the same week of 2007, Josh Groban’s “Noel” (143/Reprise/Warner Bros.), sold 757,000.
Average total of the No. 1 album for the same week of the year during the past 10 years (1999-2008): 624,633.
Britney Spears’ “Womanizer” jumps from No. 2 to No. 1 on the Mainstream Top 40 radio chart for her first No. 1 on the tally since “Toxic” in 2004. The new song marks her fourth visit to the summit. She also reigned with debut single “Baby One More Time” in 1999 and “Oops! . . . I Did It Again” in 2000. Spears leads all female artists for most overall Mainstream Top 40 chart entries since 2000 with 19 and ranks second only to Nelly (with 20) among all artists in that span.
The Hot Country Songs radio chart welcomes a new No. 1 in the form of Rascal Flatts’ “Here.” It’s Rascal’s ninth chart-topper, widening its lead as the group with the most No. 1s since 2000. Lonestar ranks second with six in that stretch. Among all artists since 2000, Rascal moves into fifth place for most chart-toppers. Toby Keith leads with 14, followed by Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw with 12 each and Brad Paisley with 11.
On the Hot Dance Club Play chart, the Pussycat Dolls’ “I Hate This Part” climbs to No. 1, the ensemble’s fourth-consecutive chart-topper — its entire output of Club Play entries. “Hate” joins their previous No. 1s “Don’t Cha,” “Buttons” and “When I Grow Up” . . . The Dolls’ Interscope labelmate Weezer notches its very first Club Play hit at the opposite end of the tally, as “Troublemaker” debuts at No. 50.
A LOOK AHEAD
Among the titles released this week, due on next week’s charts: Brutha’s “Brutha” and the soundtrack to “Revolutionary Road.”
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2007 when: Mary J. Blige’s “Growing Pains” skipped from No. 2 to No. 1 in its second week (204,000), displacing Josh Groban’s “Noel,” which fell to No. 3 with 176,000. No new albums debuted in the top 50 of the chart. The top three albums each sold more than 100,000.