Singer's fifth No. 1 is the week's only new top 10 entry

Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” rode to No. 1 in a sleepy post-Thanksgiving stanza for the U.S. album chart that did see big bounces for Christmas releases.

Singer-songwriter Keys’ RCA album became her fifth No. 1 studio release (out of six studio titles), taking the top with a 159,000-copy debut week, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Dec. 2.

Keys’ set, which was lofted by its title track’s use in an omnipresent American Express TV spot, was the lone new title to enter the national top 10. Typically, sales plummet across the board every year following the Black Friday retail stampede.

Taylor Swift’s “Red” (Big Machine) held on to No. 2 for a third week, selling 137,000 more copies (down 26%). But most of the other major sales beneficiaries were yuletide albums.

Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” (Verve), the biggest holiday title of 2012, climbed to No. 3 behind a 117,000-copy frame (down just 1%). It has shifted 475,000 to date.

Michael Buble’s “Christmas” re-entered the top 10 for the first time in a year, reaching No. 7 with 66,000 sold and a 24% sales gain. The Warner Bros. holiday release moved 2.45 million in 2011 and was second only to Adele’s “21” among last year’s top-selling albums.

Other yule releases moving into the top 10 included Lady Antebellum’s “On This Winter’s Night” (No. 8, 59,000 sold, up 13%) and Blake Shelton’s “Cheers, It’s Christmas” (No. 9, 53,000, up 1%).

The week’s other top-10 entries included One Direction’s “Take Me Home” (No. 4, 92,000 sold, down 48%), Phillip Phillips’ “The World From the Side of the Moon” (No. 5, 74,000, off 56%), Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” (No. 6, 77,000, plunging 70% after last week’s No. 1 debut) and Kid Rock’s “Rebel Soul” (No. 10, 46,000, off 68%).

New albums by Ke$ha and Wiz Khalifa stand to make a dent in the coming week’s top 10.

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