Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas becomes the first album of Christmas music to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since Michael Bublé’s Christmas five years ago. It’s the first Christmas album by an American artist to reach No. 1 since Josh Groban’s Noel in 2007. (The last three Christmas albums to reach No. 1 were by foreign-born artists — Bublé and Justin Bieber, both from Canada, and Susan Boyle, from Scotland.)
Pentatonix is only the second group in chart history to top the chart with a Christmas album. The first was Mitch Miller and the Gang, a singalong ensemble that topped the chart with Christmas Sing-Along With Mitch in 1958 and Holiday Sing Along With Mitch in 1962.
This is Pentatonix’s second No. 1 album. Pentatonix (a nonholiday album) debuted at No. 1 in November 2015. It’s the group’s third Christmas release. Its EP, PTXmas, reached No. 7 in 2013. Its album That’s Christmas to Me hit No. 2 in 2014. Pentatonix is the only act in history to reach No. 1 with one Christmas album and the top 10 with two other Christmas albums or EPs.
A Pentatonix Christmas moves up to No. 1 in its ninth week on the chart. That’s the longest continuous run on the chart for an album before it finally reached No. 1 since Bruno Mars’s Unorthodox Jukebox, which hit No. 1 in its 12th week in March 2013.
A Pentatonix Christmas is the first Christmas album to spend its first nine weeks inside the top 10 since 2013, when Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red also did this. (The leader in this regard is Josh Groban’s 2007 smash Noel, which spent its first 12 weeks inside the top 10.)
Pentatonix has a second album in this week’s top five. That’s Christmas to Me (which spent two weeks at No. 2 two years ago) holds at No. 5 in its 32nd week on the chart. The album tops the 2 million mark in U.S. sales this week. It reached the 2 million mark faster than any other Christmas album since Bublé’s Christmas, which topped that mark in its first Christmas season, 2011.
That’s Christmas to Me is No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 14th (cumulative) week.
A Pentatonix Christmas ranks No. 5 for the year in traditional album sales. It this week pulls ahead of three albums on that list — the Hamilton cast album, Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface, and The Very Best of Prince. By pulling ahead of Blurryface, it becomes the bestselling album by a group or duo in 2016. This is the second time that Pentatonix has had the year’s best-selling album by a group or duo. It also took this title two years ago with That’s Christmas to Me.
This is the sixth time in the past 10 years that a Christmas album has appeared in the year’s top 10. By contrast, in the preceding 16 years (1991-2006), only one Christmas album (Kenny G’s Miracles — The Holiday Album in 1994) appeared in the year-end top 10. Explanation: Though album sales in general have fallen off in the past decade, holiday albums have held their own — and thus are becoming more important relative to all other albums released.
This is the third year in a row that Pentatonix has had the top-selling holiday album of the year. Nobody else has taken the holiday title three years in a row since 1991, when Nielsen Music began tracking U.S. music sales.
Deep trivia: Pentatonix is from Arlington, Texas. Clarkson, whose Wrapped in Red was the best-selling Christmas album of 2013, is also from Texas. So the Lone Star State has given us the act with the best-selling Christmas album the last four years running.
The Weeknd’s “Starboy” (featuring Daft Punk) jumps to No. 1 on the Hot 100 in its 14th week. It’s his third No. 1 hit, following “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.” It’s Daft Punk’s first. The duo’s “Get Lucky” (featuring Pharrell Williams) spent five weeks at No. 2 in the summer of 2013, en route to a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
“Starboy” logged eight weeks at No. 2 on its way to the top spot. Only two other songs — Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Outkast’s “The Way You Move” — have spent so much time in the runner-up spot before ascending to the top. “Sorry” spent all eight of those weeks behind Adele’s “Hello.” “The Way You Move” spent all of those eight weeks behind Outkast’s other smash at the time, “Hey Ya!” “Starboy” spent five weeks behind the Chainsmokers’ “Closer” (featuring Halsey) and three weeks behind Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles.”
“Starboy” surges from No. 5 to No. 1 in its 14th week on Top Digital Songs, displacing “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” by Zayn and Taylor Swift. That’s the slowest climb to No. 1 on that chart since Flo Rida’s “My House” finally reached No. 1 in its 25th week in February. This week’s jump was boosted by 69-cent sale pricing in the iTunes Store. The song sold 86,000 copies this week, up from 58,000 last week (when it was not on sale).
The Weeknd’s follow-up, “I Feel It Coming,” which also features Daft Punk, jumps from No. 33 to No. 25 in its fifth week. It will soon top its No. 22 peak position to date. This song, even more than “Can’t Feel My Face,” shows Michael Jackson’s strong influence on the Weeknd.
Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” (featuring Gucci Mane) dips from No. 1 to No. 2 in its 15th week on the chart. The song spent six weeks at No. 1.
The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” (featuring Halsey) holds at No. 3 in its 21st week. The song logged 12 weeks at No. 1.
Bruno Mars’s “24K Magic” holds at No. 4 its 11th week. This is its highest ranking to date.
“Juju on That Beat (TZ Anthem)” by Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall rebounds from No. 8 to No. 5 in its 13th week. This matches its highest ranking to date.
Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” (featuring Nicki Minaj) dips from No. 5 to No. 6 in its 17th week. The song has climbed as high as No. 4.
DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” (featuring Justin Bieber) rebounds from No. 9 to No. 7 in its 20th week. The song reached No. 4.
Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” (featuring Kendrick Lamar) rebounds from No. 10 to No. 8 in its 11th week. The song has climbed as high as No. 7.
“Bad Things” by Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello rebounds from No. 14 to No. 9 in its eighth week. This is its highest ranking to date.
Drake’s “Fake Love” rebounds from No. 12 to No. 10 in its eighth week. This matches its highest ranking to date.
After debuting in the top 10 last week, the Zayn/Taylor Swift collabo “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” and J. Cole’s “Deja Vu” both drop out of the top 10 this week. Cole’s drop didn’t surprise me, but Zayn/Swift’s certainly did.
Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic jumps from No. 4 to No. 2 in its fifth week. This equals its highest ranking to date.
The Weeknd’s Starboy holds at No. 3 in its fourth week. The album debuted at No. 1.
- Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only drops from No. 1 to No. 4 in its second week. All four of Cole’s albums have logged one (and only one) week on top.
Garth Brooks lands his 18th top 10 album as his 10-CD opus The Ultimate Collection rebounds from No. 13 to No. 6 in its sixth week of release. Among country acts, only George Strait has had more top 10 albums (20). Tim McGraw is in third place (17). This is Brooks’s third boxed set to crack the top 10. It follows The Limited Series (six CDs, No. 1 in 1998) and Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences (six CDs and two DVDs, No. 1 in 2013). The collection is No. 1 on Top Country Albums for the second week. It’s Brooks’s 16th No. 1 country album.
The Hamilton Broadway cast album holds at No. 7 in its 65th week. The album peaked at No. 3 in the wake of the Tony Awards in June. This is its 18th week in the top 10.
Metallica’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct rebounds from No. 11 to No. 8 in its fifth week. The album debuted at No. 1.
The Rolling Stones’ Blue & Lonesome inches up from No. 10 to No. 9 in its third week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 4.
The Moana soundtrack drops from No. 8 to No. 10 in its fifth week. The album peaked at No. 5. This is the 20th consecutive week that at least one soundtrack has appeared in the top 10 on the Billboard 200. That’s the longest such run since 2014-2015, when one or more soundtracks appeared in the top 10 for 40 consecutive weeks — thanks largely to Frozen and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Post Malone’s Stoney and Michael Bublé’s Christmas drop out of the top 10 this week.
Kid Cudi lands his fifth top 20 album with Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’. Trey Songz hit No. 2 in 2010 with an album with a similar title — Passion, Pain & Pleasure.
Tony Bennett’s Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 debuts in the top 40, giving Bennett a nearly 60-year span of top 40 albums. He first cracked the top 40 in February 1957 with Tony. (He was just 30 — younger than Bruno Mars is now.)