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Beyonce Tops Billboard 200, R. Kelly and Childish Gambino Debut in Top 10

As reported last night, Beyonce makes history at the top of the Billboard 200 this week with her new self-titled album. The set debuts at No. 1 with 617,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen…

As reported last night, Beyonce makes history at the top of the Billboard 200 this week with her new self-titled album. The set debuts at No. 1 with 617,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making the diva the first woman to reach No. 1 with her first five studio albums.

“Beyonce” was released exclusively through the iTunes Store on Dec. 13, though other retailers will start to receive the physical copy of the album between Dec. 18 and Dec. 20. (The arrival day varies, depending on how far — and fast — the CDs travel from the distribution center to retailers.)

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Its start on the chart this week is powered solely by download sales from iTunes.

Last week’s No. 1 album, Garth Brooks’s Walmart-exclusive box set “Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences,” slips to No. 2 with 172,000 (up 17%).

With Beyonce’s iTunes-exclusive album at No. 1, and Brooks’ Walmart offering at No. 2, this week marks the first time the top two albums in the country are both exclusive to just one retailer.

More fun facts: “Beyonce” is a digital-exclusive title, while Brooks’ set is only available as a physical album. (Further, none of Brooks’ albums have ever been available in the iTunes Store.)

At No. 3 this week is a title that’s available everywhere, both digitally and physically: Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped In Red.” The holiday album holds at No. 3 with 136,000 (up 21%). The singer’s NBC TV special, “Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale,” aired during the tracking week (Dec. 11), and earned 5.3 million viewers according to Nielsen.

R. Kelly collects his 15th top 10 album, as “Black Panties” arrives at No. 4 with 133,000. It’s the R&B veteran’s highest charting album since 2009’s “Untitled” debuted and peaked at No. 4. The new set’s opening week sales surpass the debut frame of his last set, 2012’s “Write Me Back,” which bowed at No. 5 with 68,000.

One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” falls 2-5 with 123,000 (though it is up 5%) and the Robertsons’ “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas” descends 5-6 with 108,000 (up 3%).

Childish Gambino scores his best sales week and highest charting set, as his second album, “Because the Internet,” opens at No. 7 with 96,000. The actor/comedian/hip-hop artist’s first release, 2011’s “Camp,” debuted and peaked at No. 11 off a 52,000 start. 

Childish Gambino Talks New Album, Staying Honest

It’s the fourth top 10 album for Gambino’s record label, Glassnote Records. The company previously notched top 10s with Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More” (No. 2) and “Babel” (No. 1), and Phoenix’s “Bankrupt!” (No. 4).

Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” moves 6-8 with 83,000 (down less than 1%) while Katy Perry’s “PRISM” rests at No. 9 for another week with 59,000 (up 15%).

At No. 10 — up one slot — is the soundtrack to the Disney animated film “Frozen,” with 56,000 (up 10%).

The set is the first soundtrack from an animated feature film to reach the top 10 since Disney’s “Cars” drove in at No. 6 in 2006. In total, “Frozen” is the 10th animated film soundtrack to hit the top 10, with six of those coming from a Disney film.

Over on the Digital Songs chart, A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” jumps back to No. 1 (up two slots) with 233,000 (up 41%). Pitbull’s “Timber,” featuring Ke$ha, slides 1-2 with 187,000 (down 3%).

Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna, dips 2-3 with 175,000 (down 6%) while OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” is steady at No. 4 with 145,000 (down less than 1%).

Passenger’s “Let Her Go” climbs 6-5 with 118,000 (up 11%) and One Direction’s “Story Of My Life” falls 5-6 with 108,000 (down 1%).

Lorde’s “Royals” is a non-mover at No. 7 with 98,000 (down 9%), while Imagine Dragons’ “Demons” is also stationary at No. 8 with 90,000 (down 4%).

Ellie Goulding’s “Burn” breaks into the top 10 for the first time, rising 11-9 with 84,000 (up 27%), while Justin Bieber’s “Confident,” featuring Chance the Rapper, starts at No. 10 with 77,000. It’s the first charting single for the latter artist, who previously spent one week on both the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Heatseekers Albums charts with “Acid Rap.”

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Dec. 15) totaled 8.69 million units, up 22% compared with the sum last week (7.11 million) and down 11% compared with the comparable sales week of 2012 (9.71 million). Year to date album sales stand at 269.39 million, down 8% compared with the same total at this point last year (293.48 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 19.57 million downloads, down less than 1% compared with last week (19.59 million) and down 14% stacked next to the comparable week of 2012 (22.79 million). Year to date track sales are at 1.19 billion, down 5% compared with the same total at this point last year (1.25 billion).

Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2012 when: Taylor Swift’s “Red” held at No. 1 with 276,000 (up 32%) and T.I.’s “Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head” debuted at No. 2 with 179,000.

(Note: With Christmas and New Year’s Day affecting chart processing schedules, all charts will update on and on Friday of each of the next two weeks [Dec. 27 and Jan. 3]. This weekly Wednesday Billboard 200 recap, as well as the the Billboard Hot 100 song chart’s rundown, will move to Thursday for those two weeks.)