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‘Noel’ brings good cheer to charts

Groban's latest the top-selling album of 2007

Josh Groban’s “Noel” became the first Christmas album to top the album sales charts for four consecutive weeks as well as the top-selling album of the year as it sold another 669,000 copies last week.

With a cume of 2.77 million in 10 weeks of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, it has displaced the “High School Musical 2” soundtrack as the year’s top seller. Obviously, “Noel” has only one more week of potential sales, and it should easily top the 3 million-sold mark, a barrier many observers felt would not be topped. It will be challenged for top of the chart next week by Mary J. Blige’s “Growing Pains,” which was released Tuesday.

“High School Musical 2” saw a holiday spike of 39%, selling 178,000 units to remain at No. 6 for the fourth week in a row. It has sold about 70,000 fewer copies than “Noel.”

“Face Off” (T.U.G./Columbia), the collaboration between Bow Wow and Omarion, was the top debut, selling 107,000 to open at No. 11.

Other top 40 debuts were Birdman’s “5 Stunna” (Cash Money/Universal), selling 86,000 (No. 18); Mario’s “Go” (J), 77,000 (No. 21); the Wu-Tang Clan’s “8 Diagrams” (SRC), 68,000 (No. 25); the Dream’s “Love/Hate” (Def Jam), 59,000 (No. 30); and Beanie Sigel’s “The Solution” (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam), 49,000 (No. 37). Disney’s “High School Musical Hits Remixed” debuted at No. 42, selling 42,000 copies.

Of the 91 returning titles in the top 100, 74 posted gains from the previous week. Enjoying the largest leaps were Mannheim Steamroller’s “Christmas Song,” which was up 89,000 to 180,000 in sales (No. 5), and Alicia Keys’ “As I Am,” which improved by 58,000 to 292,000 sold in the week (No. 2).

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