Susan Boyle, Taylor Swift fight the rookies for top slots
Boyle's "The Gift" not only held onto the top spot, but increased her tally by 5 percent to 334,000 during its second week of release, according to data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan. Her combo holiday-and-rock covers album easily outdistanced No. 2, Jackie Evancho's Christmas EP-DVD set "O Holy Night." It sold 239,000 in its opening session.
Rihanna's "Loud," which contains the country's No. 1 single, "Only Girl (In the World)," sold 207,000 copies to chime in at No. 3. Her fifth album to hit the top 10, it is the biggest sales week of her career.
At No. 4, Josh Groban's "Illuminations" squeaked past Kid Rock's "Born Free," selling 191,000 copies to the Michigan rocker's 189,000. Rascal Flatts' "Nothing Like This" popped in at No. 6 on sales of 165,000. Keith Urban's "Get Closer," at No. 7, was mighty close to the " Glee Cast's Xmas": The country singer's disc sold 162,000 copies while "Glee" did about 400 fewer.
Swift's "Speak Now" sold 146,000 copies, dropping seven slots to No. 9. Nelly's "5.0" was the only top 10 entry to not sell more than 100,000 units, moving 63,000.
Day to Remember's "What Separates Me from You" sold 58,000 (No. 11); Pink's "Greatest Hits So Far" colored in 53,000 (No. 14); and Chris Tomlin's "And If God is For Us" tallied 45,000 (No. 17).
The two Bruce Springsteen archival releases opened in the top 30. The two-CD collection of previously unreleased tracks, "The Promise," raced home with 47,000 to park at No.16. The three-CD, three-DVD package, "The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story," fired up 32,000 copies to cross the line at No. 27.
Season Nine "American Idol" winner Lee Dewyze saw his '"Live It Up" sell 39,000 copies to land at No. 19. It is the lowest sales figure posted by an "Idol" champ, moving less than half of season eight winner Kris Allen's debut.
The compilation of Norah Jones guest appearances, "Featuring..." sold 31,000 to come away at No. 29.
Pink Martini's holiday album "Joy to the World" hung 26,000 bows of holly to slide in at No. 35. It was one of 43 holiday albums in the top 200. It is also the first time in 17 years that three holiday albums have been in the top 10.