Taylor Swift back atop Billboard 200

Beyonce climbs to No. 2; Britney Spears third

NEW YORK -- Taylor Swift's sophomore Big Machine album, "Fearless," tops the Billboard 200 for a fourth nonconsecutive week after selling 262,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, a 21% sales decline from last week.

With the continued success of her track "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", Beyonce's "I Am ... Sasha Fierce" (Music World/Columbia) leaps up from fifth to second place on a 7% sales boost to 211,000. Britney Spears' Jive set "Circus" rebounds from No. 4 to No. 3 with 203,000 (a 4% increase), while Nickelback's "Dark Horse" (Roadrunner) climbs from No. 6 to No. 4 with 177,000 (-9%).

Re-entering the top tier with an 11-5 move is Kanye West's "808s and Heartbreak" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam), on a 16% jump in sales to 165,000 units. The Chop Shop/Atlantic soundtrack to "Twilight" moves 148,000 copies (a 5% drop) and ascends a notch from No. 7 to No. 6.

After a No. 2 debut last week, Keyshia Cole's "A Different Me" (Geffen) takes a 61% sales plunge to 127,000, moving the set down to No. 7. Similarly, Jamie Foxx's "Intuition" (J) experiences the same decline in its second week to 105,000 and slips 3-9.

The 29th volume of the multilabel "Now!" hits compilation climbs from No. 10 to No. 8 on a 12% decline to 122,000. David Cook rounds out the top 10 with his self-titled 19 Recordings/RCA debut, ascending from 13th to 10th with 101,000 (down 22%).

In this last chart week of 2008, sales totaled 17.02 million, up 17% compared with the final week of 2007. However, the week ending Dec. 28, 2008 included three full days of pre-Christmas shopping. The final week of 2007 ended Dec. 30, and only contained one day of last minute holiday shopping.

There were 428.4 million albums sold this year, down 14.4% compared with 2007's 500.5 million. Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" (Cash Money/Universal) was the top seller of the year with 2.88 million copies.
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