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Pink, Beyonce reap benefits of telecast perfs

Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” maintained its supremacy at No. 1 on the national album chart, despite a drop of nearly 70% in sales in its second week.

The country-pop vocalist’s collection sold 320,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Sunday. The Big Machine set sold 1.04 million copies its debut week, the best album sales numbers for any frame in five years.

Big declines are par for the course in an album’s second week, and even Swift’s highly publicized CD did not prove invulnerable to diminishing sales.

Swift topped a trifecta of country albums at the apex of the chart. Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” (Broken Bow) debuted at No. 2 with 193,000 sold out of the box. It’s a personal best for the Georgia-born singer; his previous two albums peaked at No. 4.

Sugarland’s “The Incredible Machine” (Mercury Nashville), No. 1 two weeks ago, settled at No. 3 with 60,000 sold (off 32%).

“Merry Christmas II You,” Mariah Carey’s second holiday album, entered at No. 4 with a 55,000-unit week. That’s one notch behind the peak of her previous Yule set “Merry Christmas,” which rose to No. 3 in 1994.

Holding over from previous week and losing slight ground were Lil Wayne’s “I Am Not a Human Being” (No. 5, 45,000 sold, up 5%), Kings of Leon’s “Come Around Sundown” (No. 6, 40,000, down 40%) and Eminem’s “Recovery” (No. 7, 38,000, up 1%).

Neil Diamond’s album of covers, “Dreams” (Columbia), came aboard at No. 8, with 35,000 sold. Package includes songs penned by Lennon and McCartney, Leonard Cohen, Bill Withers and Leon Russell.

“Hits Alive” (Arista Nashville), country star Brad Paisley’s second collection of chart-toppers, bowed at No. 9 with 31,000 sold. The top 10 was rounded out by Elton John and Leon Russell’s “The Union,” which dropped four positions to No. 10 with 27,000 shifted (off 27%).

The field of top 10 contenders for this week is crowded, as albums by Susan Boyle, Josh Groban, Reba McEntire and Cee-Lo Green plus a new “Now” hits compilation reach the stores.

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