Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" is the #1 Christmas album of 2013, narrowly edging out The Robertsons' "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas." Clarkson's album sold 763K copies. The Robertsons' album sold 745K.
This marks the first time that an American female artist has had the year's #1 Christmas album since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales. Four American females had the #2 Christmas album of a given year: Amy Grant in 1992, Mariah Carey in 1994, Christina Aguilera in 2000 and Jackie Evancho in 2010.
It's the second time that an "American Idol" alum has had the year's top Christmas album. Clay Aiken had the #1 holiday album of 2004, "Merry Christmas With Love."
The Robertsons album was in release while Phil Robertson's comments about gays and African Americans became the latest flashpoint in the culture wars. The controversy doesn't seem to have had much effect on the album's fate.
This is the fourth time in the Nielsen SoundScan era that a country album has ranked among the year's top two holiday albums. Garth Brooks' "Beyond The Season" was #1 for 1992. Vince Gill's "Let There Be Peace On Earth" was #2 for 1993. "Garth Brooks & The Magic Of Christmas" was #2 for 1999.
Several of this year's top holiday albums are perennials. This is the seventh time since 2000 that the Vince Guaraldi Trio's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" has ranked among the year's top 10 holiday albums. This is the seventh straight year that Josh Groban's "Noel" has ranked among the year's top 10 holiday albums. This is the third year in a row that Michael Buble's "Christmas" has ranked among the year's top five holiday sellers.
Susan Boyle's "Home For Christmas" was a disappointment. It ranks #5. Her previous holiday album, "The Gift," was the #1 holiday album of 2010. Mannheim Steamroller/Czech Philharmonic Orchestra's "Christmas Symphony II" ranks #9 for the year. Their previous collabo, "Christmas Symphony," was the #8 holiday album of 2011.
Mariah Carey's 1994 holiday perennial "All I Want For Christmas Is You" was the top-selling holiday song for the third time in the past four years. (It was displaced from its customary lead spot in 2011 by Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe.")
Here's a recap of this year's top 10 Christmas albums.
The First Five: Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped In Red" is #1 (763K)…The Robertsons' "Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas" is #2 (745K)…Mary J. Blige's "A Mary Christmas" is #3 (328K)…Michael Buble's "Christmas is #4 (314K). The album was first released in 2011…Susan Boyle's "Home For Christmas" is #5 (208K).
The Second Five: Pentatonix's "PTXmas" is #6 (168K). The EP was first released in 2012…The Piano Guys' "A Family Christmas" is #7 (135K)…Vince Guaraldi Trio's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is #8 (132K). The classic album was first released in 1965…Mannheim Steamroller/Czech Philharmonic Orchestra's "Christmas Symphony II" is #9 (122K)…Josh Groban's "Noel" is #10 (117K). The album was first released in 2007.