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Alicia Keys Gets Fifth #1 Album On Billboard 200

December 5, 2012 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Alicia Keys’ new album, Girl on Fire, is now her fifth #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 159,000 copies.

She previously went to #1 with her first four albums, which included three studio albums and a live release. Her last album, 2009’s The Element of Freedom, debuted at #2 with 417,000. It was helped by being released a week before Christmas (December 15), but was stopped from getting the top due to the colossal success of Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed A Dream, which sold 661,000 in its fourth week.

This is the smallest debut for any of Keys’ previous albums, lower than her 2005 Unplugged album (196,000). It’s right in line with what industry experts predicted, as they had it selling between 145,000 and 170,000.

It was also predicted that holiday sales would make Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas, Baby, stiff competition for Girl on Fire. That wasn’t the case, as the album climbed 6-3 with 117,000. Its sales have actually dropped less than 1%, which is smaller than other albums on the chart.

This chart reflects the week after Thanksgiving, which sees many albums with sharp drops. Sales are always done that week. Album volume fell by 23% this year. Only thirteen albums had a gain in the top 100 of the chart. This resulted in several albums with lower sales moving up the chart. Now 44 rose 15-11 with a drop of 28% in sales. Scott McCreery’s Christmas With Scotty McCreery climbs 21-12 with a drop of $18. Next week should see the numbers back to normal or higher as it gets closer to Christmas.

Alicia Keys album is the only debut in the top 20. The second-highest debut belongs to Timeflies’ One Night EP, which sold 24,000. The only other notable move is Michael Buble’s Christmas, which returns to the top ten for the first time since January 7. It climbed 16-7 with 66,000 sold.

1. Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire (159,000)
2. Taylor Swift – Red (137,000)
3. Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas, Baby (117,000)
4. One Direction – Take Me Home (92,000)
5. Rihanna – Unapologetic (77,000)
6. Phillip Phillips – The World From the Side of the Moon (74,000)
7. Michael Buble – Christmas (66,000)
8. Lady Antebellum – On This Winter’s Night (59,000)
9. Blake Shelton – Cheers, It’s Christmas (53,000)
10. Kid Rock – Rebel Soul (46,000)

Album sales this week totaled 7.52 million, down 23% compared to last week (9.74 million) and down 7% compared to last year (8.06 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 275.31 million, down 4% compared with the same total at this point last year (286.78 million).

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Joseph Lee

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