Phil Robertson's controversial comments to GQ about homosexuality and African Americans haven't hurt sales of The Robertsons' "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas"—and may even have given it a little boost. The album rebounds from #6 to #4 on The Billboard 200, while Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" drops from #3 to #5. Sales of the Robertsons' album jumped by 22% this week (compared to last week). Sales of Clarkson's album dropped by 9%.
The two albums are locked in a fierce battle to become this year's top-selling Christmas album. With one week to go in the chart year, "Wrapped" has a razor-thin lead. "Wrapped" has sold 702K copies, compared to 700K for "Duck."
Both albums are in a position to make history should they come out on top. Clarkson is vying to become the first American female artist to have the year's #1 holiday album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. Four American females had the year's #2 holiday album: Amy Grant (1992), Mariah Carey (1994), Christina Aguilera (2000) and Jackie Evancho (2010).
The Robertsons' album would be the first country album to emerge as the year's top holiday album since Garth Brooks' "Beyond The Season" in 1992.
Which of these albums will come out on top for 2013? Check back next Thursday and see.
Beyonce's "Beyonce" holds at #1 for the second week. The album sold 991K copies in its first 10 days of release. In so doing, it has become the best-selling album by a female artist in 2013. The old record was held by P!nk's "The Truth About Love," which has sold 920K copies in 2013 (on top of 945K copies it sold in 2012).
"Beyonce" sold 374K copies in its second week, which was its first full week of release. It sold 617K copies last week, even though it was available for only three days in that tracking week.
I have much more on Beyonce's album in a separate Chart Watch posting that went up today. Here's a link.
Garth Brooks' "Blame it All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences" holds at #2 for the second week. It's #1 on Top Country Albums for the fourth week. The eight-disk set (six CDs, two DVDs) is the second box set to spend four weeks at #1 on the country chart. The first was Brooks' six-CD "The Limited Series" in 1998. "Blame It All On My Roots" has sold a robust 681K copies.
The "Frozen" soundtrack jumps from #10 to #8. It's #1 on Top Soundtracks for the fourth week. Animated Disney features have a rich tradition, dating back to the first, 1937's "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs." What was the first animated Disney feature to spawn a top 10 soundtrack? An album with music from the Donald Duck movie "The Three Caballeros" was in the top 10 on the very first album chart in March 1945, but the album (by Charles Wolcott and his Orchestra) isn't considered an official movie soundtrack. The best answer is "Cinderella." A storybook album which was adapted from the movie reached #1 in May 1950.
Michael Buble's Christmas rebounds from #13 to #9 in the wake of NBC's airing of his third Christmas special. The 2011 album logs its 14th week at #1 on Top Catalog Albums. It's the first Christmas album to spend 14 weeks at #1 on the catalog chart since "Now! That's What I Call Christmas" logged 14 weeks on top from 2002 to 2005.
"Say Something" by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera logs its third week at #1 on Hot Digital Songs (238K). Will it jump from #4 to #1 on the Hot 100? You'll find out later today when we post my Songs blog.
Here's a recap of this week's top 10.
The Top Five: Beyonce's "Beyonce" logs its second week at #1 (374K)…Garth Brooks' "Blame it All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Influences" holds at #2 for the second week in its fourth week (199K). It has been in the top five the entire time… One Direction's "Midnight Memories" rebounds from #5 to #3 in its fourth week (166K). It has been in the top five the entire time… The Robertsons' "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas" rebounds from #6 to #4 in its eighth week (132K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time…Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" drops from #3 to #5 in its eighth week (124K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time.
The Second Five: Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" rebounds from #8 to #6 in its seventh week (115K). It has been in the top 10 the entire time… Katy Perry's "Prism" rebounds from #9 to #7 in its ninth week (99K). This is its eighth week in the top 10… The "Frozen" soundtrack jumps from #10 to #8 in its fourth week (81K). This is its second week in the top 10…Michael Buble's "Christmas" rebounds from #13 to #9 in its 28th chart week (68K). This is its 15th week in the top 10… Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" rebounds from #14 to #10 in its 19th week (68K). This is its 12th week in the top 10.
Two albums drop out of the top 10 this week. R. Kelly's "Black Panties" drops from #4 to #15. Childish Gambino's "Because The Internet" drops from #7 to #25.
Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" holds at #18 for the second week. The album tops the 500K mark in sales in this, its sixth week. Good for most artists, not so hot for Gaga.
B.o.B's third album, "Underground Luxury," is the week's top new entry at #22. This is a rather disappointing debut: The rapper's first two albums both debuted in the top five. The new album sold 35K copies in its first week, which is less than half of the first-week tallies of his first two albums…We The Kings' fourth studio album, "Somewhere Somehow" is the week's second-highest new entry at #44. That's the highest chart ranking to date for the Florida rock group.
"The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug" soundtrack drops from #39 to #71 in its second week. The movie has been #1 at the box-office for the past two weekends.
Andrea Bocelli's 2009 album "My Christmas" drops from #72 to #97 in its 41st chart week. The album tops the 3 million mark in sales this week. It's the 13th holiday album to reach that plateau since 1991.
Toby Keith tops the 30M mark in career album sales this week. He's the fifth male country solo artist to reach that plateau since 1991, following Garth Brooks (69,333,000), George Strait (44,757,000), Tim McGraw (41,829,000) and Alan Jackson (40,343,000).
Bon Jovi's 1994 greatest hits album, "Cross Road," tops the 5 million mark in sales this week.
Eric Clapton's "Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013" is #1 for the second week on Top Music Videos.
Coming Attractions: Look for Justin Bieber's "Journals" to be next week's top new album. Will it debut at #1? We'll find out on Thursday Jan. 2. Also, on that day, I'll post an updated version of my year-end recap and a couple of breakout year-end lists.