Taylor Swift's 'Red' Album No. 1 For Third Week On Billboard 200
Rod Stewart's "Merry Christmas, Baby" holds down No.3 for the second straight week.
Taylor Swift's Red reigns supreme for a third week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 196,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan (down 43%). Swift beats the No. 2 title -- the debuting Now 44 collection -- by nearly 100,000 copies. The latter set arrives with 99,000, marking the 43rd straight title in the regular Now series to debut in the top 10. (The very first Now set debuted outside the top 10, but eventually climbed into the region.)
The Now series' earlier release, Now 43, debuted at No. 1 on the Aug. 25 chart with 111,000 sold.
Red is Swift's first album to spend its first three weeks at No. 1. Her 2010 set Speak Now earned two frames atop the list from the start and then dropped out of the No. 1 slot for five weeks. It eventually returned for four more weeks at No. 1.
Before that, Swift's one other No. 1, 2008's Fearless, debuted at the top, then slipped to No. 4 in its second frame. It returned to rule for another 10 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1.
Total U.S. sales for Red now stand at 1.8 million.
At No. 3 again this week on the Billboard 200 is Rod Stewart's Merry Christmas, Baby, which holds with 74,000 (down just 17%) in its second frame.
Behind Stewart is an arriving Ne-Yo with R.E.D. at No. 4, moving a larger-than-expected 66,000 copies. A week ago, label sources had forecasted that the singer/songwriter's album would sell around 55,000. R.E.D. is Ne-Yo's fifth straight top 10 album, following career-opening No. 1s with 2006's In My Own Words and 2007's Because of You, a No. 2 set in 2008 with Year of the Gentleman and then a No. 9 peak for 2010's Libra Scale. The latter title debuted where it peaked and launched with 112,000.
Aerosmith returns with its first album of all-original material since 2001, as Music From Another Dimension shoots in at No. 5 with 63,000. The veteran band's last studio set of new music was Just Push Play, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 240,000 sold on March 24, 2001, chart. Between Just Push Play and Music From Another Dimension, it issued one studio project, the (mostly covers) blues effort Honkin' on Bobo, which debuted and peaked at No. 5 in 2004.
Jason Aldean's Night Train slips 4-6 this week with 48,000 (down 32%), Mumford & Sons' Babel holds at No. 7 with 41,000 (down 6%), Meek Mill's Dreams and Nightmares drops 2-8 with a little more than 41,000 (down 75%), and Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City descends 5-9 with 40,000 (down 36%).
Christian band Third Day rounds out the top 10 with its new album Miracle bowing in the No. 10 slot with 29,000. It's the fourth top 10 effort for the act, which opened at No. 9 with its last album, 2010's "Move" (37,000). On the Christian Albums chart, Miracle is the act's 13th top 10 and sixth No. 1.
Over on the Digital Songs chart, the top two are non-movers, but the gap between them is closing. PSY's "Gangnam Style" is No. 1 for a fifth nonconsecutive week, selling 187,000 downloads (down 17%). It's the first time the tune has sold fewer than 200,000 in a week in two months.
Behind him at No. 2 is Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven," which shifts 155,000 (up 4%). Rihanna's "Diamonds" sparkles as it climbs 5-3 with 144,000 (up 19%). The singer performed the track on the Nov. 10 edition of Saturday Night Live.
Ke$ha's "Die Young" slips 3-4 with 138,000 (down less than 1%), and Maroon 5's "One More Night" falls 4-5 with 125,000 (down 7%). Fun.'s "Some Nights" is steady at No. 6 with 108,000 (down 6%), and Flo Rida's "Cry" is also a non-mover, holding at No. 7 with 107,000 (up less than 1%).
The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" comes barging into the top 10, rising 16-8 with its best sales week yet: 101,000 (up 48%). It's the song's fifth straight weekly sales gain and its rise coincides with its steady gains at radio. It climbs 23-22 on Pop Songs this week and ascends 19-15 on Adult Pop Songs. The tune is also featured in the trailer to the movie Silver Linings Playbook.
Phillip Phillips' "Home" rises 10-9 with 98,000 (up 16%) while Adele's "Skyfall" -- the title song from the James Bond film -- shoots 25-10 with 91,000 (up 66%). The latter profits from the movie's opening in U.S. theaters on Friday, Nov. 9.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Nov. 11) totaled 5.45 million units, even compared to the sum last week (5.45 million) and down 15% compared with the comparable sales week of 2011 (6.4 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 251.3 million, down 4% compared with the same total at this point last year (261.9 million).
Digital track sales this past week totaled 21.3 million downloads, down less than 1% compared with last week (21.4 million) and down 6% stacked next to the comparable week of 2011 (22.7 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 1.14 billion, up 6% compared with the same total at this point last year (1.07 billion).
Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2011 when: Drake's Take Care blasted in at No. 1 with 631,000 in its debut week while Michael Buble's Christmas held at No. 2 with a second week with 165,000 (up 35%). The second-highest new entry was Andrea Bocelli's Concerto: Live in Central Park at No. 4 with 87,000.
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