J. Cole’s ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’ Leads U.S. Album Chart, Topples Taylor Swift

Displacing Taylor Swift’s still-hot “1989,” rapper J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive” has ascended to the top of the national album chart.

The North Carolina-based performer’s Roc Nation/Columbia set sold 375,000 total units (354,000 of them physical copies) in its debut week, according to Nielsen Music data for the week ending Dec. 14. It is Cole’s third consecutive No. 1 album, succeeding “Born Sinner” (2013) and “Cole World: The Sideline Story” (2011).

Swift’s mega-hit pop entry was knocked from the pinnacle for the second time since its 1.28 million-selling debut week last month; One Direction’s “Four” pushed it aside with a No. 1 bow three weeks ago. In its seventh week, “1989” still managed to claim No. 2 with a 324,000-unit tally (up 18%).

“That’s Christmas to Me,” a cappella group Pentatonix’s big seasonal hit, shifted 218,000 (down just 1%) and captured No. 3.

Two other new titles arrived in the top 10. Country star and former “American Idol champ Carrie Underwood’s “Greatest Hits: Decade #1” (Arista Nashville) arrived at No. 4, reaping sales of 103,000. It is the vocalist’s fifth top-10 album; she has four top-five studio sets to her credit, three of which reached No. 1.

K. Michelle’s “Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?” (Atlantic) moved in at No. 6 with 88,000 sold. It is the R&B vocalist’s sophomore album and second top-10 performer; last year’s “Rebellious Soul” peaked at No. 2.

The remainder of the top 10: AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” (No. 5, 94,000 sold, down 46%), “Four” (No. 7, 82,000, up 12%), Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” (No. 8, 81,000, up 1%), Ed Sheeran’s “X” (No. 9, 65,000, up 56%) and Garth Brooks’ “Man Against Machine” (No. 10, 62,000, up 8%).

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