'Dream' takes No. 1 for fifth consecutive week

For a fifth week, Scottish thrush Susan Boyle holds the musical competition at bay, ending 2009 with a lock on the apex of the national album chart.

Boyle’s Syco/Columbia swift-selling release “I Dreamed a Dream” takes No. 1 for the fifth consecutive week with sales of 510,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Dec. 27.

The vocalist — a complete unknown before her stint on “Britain’s Got Talent” thrust her into the international spotlight earlier this year — has tallied cumulative U.S. sales of nearly 3 million units to date, challenging country-popster Taylor Swift’s 2009 supremacy in the late running.

Boyle’s ongoing sensational performance once again barred a chart-topping entry by an established talent. R&B luminary Mary J. Blige’s “Stronger With Each Tear” (Geffen) enters at No. 2 with a 330,000-unit first week.

Last week, Alicia Keys’ new “The Element of Freedom” (J Records) was locked out of the top position by Boyle’s formidable sales. The pop-R&B singer’s album drops two rungs to No. 4 this week, selling 280,000 in a 33% decline.

Tenor Andrea Bocelli’s Xmas package “My Christmas” (Decca) holds at No. 3, logging 284,000 units (down 27%). Swift’s “Fearless” (Big Machine) dips one slot to No. 5, moving 224,000 copies (down 6%). Lady Gaga’s “The Fame” (Interscope) sits tight at No. 6 behind a 169,000-unit week (up 20%). Teen pop vocalist Justin Bieber’s “My World” (Island) rises one position to No. 7 (up 23%). In a flat sales week with 153,000 sold, Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” (19/Arista Nashville) slides three notches to No. 8.

Only other major bow in a typically somnolent year-end chart frame is the Lil Wayne label project “We Are Young Money.” Posse including Drake, Lil Chuckee, Lil’ Twist, Mack Maine and other nascent rap stars was good for No. 9, rolling up a 142,000-debut week.

Michael Buble rounds things out at No. 10: With a slim 3% decline, the Canadian singer’s “Crazy Love” (Warner Bros.) slides three positions to No. 10, posting 137,000 units.

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