Vocal group Pentatonix scores its second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as A Pentatonix Christmas jumps from No. 2 to No. 1 on the latest list, earning 206,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 22 (up 32 percent), according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 185,000 were in traditional album sales (up 33 percent). It’s the first holiday album at No. 1 in five years, since Michael Buble’s Christmas ruled the tally for five consecutive weeks on the charts dated Dec. 10, 2011, through Jan. 7, 2012.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Jan. 7, 2017-dated chart (where Pentatonix rises to No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Wednesday, Dec. 28 (one day later than normal, due to the Christmas holiday on Dec. 25).
Pentatonix previously led the list with its self-titled album, which debuted atop the list in 2015.
A Pentatonix Christmas was released through RCA Records on Oct. 21. It debuted at No. 3 on the Nov. 12-dated chart, and has never ranked lower than No. 6 on the list in its nine weeks on the chart.
The album benefits from not only holiday-fueled purchases (after all, it is a Christmas album) as well as a sale price in the iTunes Store (for just $7.99), but also a number of TV appearances from the group during the tracking week. The act’s Dec. 7 performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! repeated on Dec. 16; NBC’s A Pentatonix Christmas Special (which premiered on Dec. 14) received an encore airing on Dec. 17; they sang on NBC’s America’s Got Talent Holiday Spectacular on Dec. 19; and they performed on Fox News’ Fox & Friends on Dec. 21 and the syndicated Rachael Ray Show on Dec. 22.
A Pentatonix Christmas is the group’s sixth top 10 album overall, and third holiday effort to reach the region, following 2014’s No. 2-peaking That’s Christmas to Me, and the 2013 PTXmas EP, which climbed to No. 7.
Pentatonix’s latest No. 1 also earns the largest sales week for a holiday album in two years, since Pentatonix’s previous holiday set, That’s Christmas to Me, sold 203,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 21, 2014. In fact, the last acts that weren’t Pentatonix to sell more in a single week with a holiday album were Michael Buble and Justin Bieber during the week ending Dec. 25, 2011. That week, Buble sold 467,000 copies of Christmas, while Bieber moved 225,000 copies of his Under the Mistletoe.
Further, A Pentatonix Christmas is the first album to earn its first week at No. 1 by climbing there — as opposed to debuting or re-entering at No. 1– since Rihanna’s Anti vaulted from No. 27 to No. 1 in its second chart week, on the Feb. 20-dated list. Also notable, since A Pentatonix Christmas reaches No. 1 in its ninth week on the list, it logs the slowest continuous climb to No. 1 (thus excepting re-entries at No. 1 from Prince’s The Very Best of Prince and Chris Stapleton’s Traveller) since the March 16, 2013-dated list, when Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox reached No. 1 in its 12th week.
Speaking of Mars, back on the new Billboard 200 chart, his 24K Magic rises two spots to No. 2 with 114,000 units (up 54 percent) while The Weeknd’s Starboy stays steady at No. 3 with 101,000 units (down 7 percent). The previous week’s No. 1, J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only, dips 1-4 with 90,000 units (down 82 percent). Pentatonix’s That’s Christmas to Me holds at No. 5 with 78,000 units (up 20 percent).
Garth Brooks’ new boxed set, The Ultimate Collection, jumps 13-6 in its second chart week (64,000 units — up 75 percent), granting the superstar his 18th top 10 album. Among country acts, Brooks is now solely in second place with the most top 10s, behind only George Strait, who has 20 top 10s. (Brooks was previously tied with Tim McGraw, who has 17 top 10s.)
As for the rest of the new top 10, the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton is a non-mover at No. 7 with 58,000 units (up 21 percent), Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct ascends 11-8 with 53,000 units (up 30 percent), The Rolling Stones’ Blue & Lonesome rises 10-9 with 52,000 units (up 21 percent), and the Moana soundtrack dips 8-10 with 51,000 units (though it’s up 7 percent).