Chart Watch Extra: Christmas Albums, From Bing To Buble
Michael Buble is sure to have a merry Christmas. His 2011 album, Christmas, will top the 3 million mark in U.S. sales within the next two weeks. (Current sales tally: 2,749,000.) It will be the first Christmas album to go over the 3 million mark since Josh Groban's 2007 smash Noel. Buble's album is expected to rebound to #3 on this week's Billboard 200, pulling ahead of this year's top holiday album, Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby.
Buble's album is being boosted by an hour-long TV special which NBC has already aired twice this month and plans to air again on Dec. 21.
Even in an era of digital song downloads, Christmas music remains an album-oriented genre. Twenty-three holiday albums have sold 2 million or more copies in the Nielsen SoundScan era. By contrast, just one holiday song, Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You," has sold 2 million digital copies.
Kenny G's Miracles—The Holiday Album remains the best-selling Christmas album of the Nielsen SoundScan era. It has sold 7,277,000 copies since its release in 1994. Kenny G's second holiday album, Faith—A Holiday Album, has sold 2,752,000 copies since its release in 1999. The album spawned a top 10 hit on the Hot 100, "Auld Lang Syne (The Millennium Mix)."
Josh Groban's Noel is the second best-selling holiday album of the Nielsen SoundScan era. It has sold 5,550,000 copies since its release in 2007. It's the top-seller by a vocalist. The album features "Ave Maria" and I'll Be Home For Christmas."
Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas has sold 5,261,000 copies since its release in 1994. It's the top-seller by a female vocalist in the Nielsen SoundScan era, narrowly edging out Celine Dion's These Are Special Times, which has sold 5,257,000 copies since its release in 1998. Carey's album features "All I Want For Christmas Is You," which has sold 2,311,000 digital copies. Dion's album contained the #1 hit "I'm Your Angel," a collabo with R. Kelly, though the song's connection to the holidays was slight.
The classical-rock ensemble Mannheim Steamroller has topped the 2 million mark with four holiday albums, which is more than any other act.