Nicki Minaj’s ‘Pinkprint’ Debuts at No. 2, Swift Reclaims Top Spot on U.S. Album Chart

Taylor Swift’s “1989” retook the apex of the U.S. album chart for a third time last week and appears on its way to becoming the bestselling title of 2014.

Swift’s Big Machine set tracked sales of 375,000 copies (up 16%), according to Nielsen Music data for the week ending Dec. 21. That total brings the collection’s cumulative sales to 3.36 million; the year’s champ to date, Disney’s “Frozen” soundtrack, has shifted 3.46 million to date. Swift seems destined to surpass that number on next week’s year-ending chart.

Two new releases made their top-10 bows the week before Christmas. Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj’s “The Pinkprint” (Cash Money) launched at No. 2, debuting with sales of 244,000. The difference between Minaj’s album and the No. 3 album, a cappella group Pentatonix’s yule hit “That’s Christmas to Me” (214,000 sold, down just 2%), was the vocalist’s streams, newly weighted into Nielsen’s chart; her collection garnered 16.8 million song streams in its opening frame.

Minaj’s two previous albums, “Pink Friday” (2010) and “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” (2012), both debuted at No. 1.

R&B singer D’Angelo returned to the list after a nearly 14-year absence with “Black Messiah” (RCA), which moved in at No. 5 with a 117,000-unit score. The album, billed to D’Angelo and the Vanguard, is the singer’s first studio release since “Voodoo,” which topped the chart after its release in January 2000.

Overall, eight of the week’s top 10 albums sold in excess of 100,000 copies. Other holdovers included J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive” (No. 4, 135,000 sold, down 64%), Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” (No. 6, 102,000, up 26%), One Direction’s “Four” No. 7, 101,000, up 26%), Ed Sheeran’s “x” (No. 8, 100,000, up 54%), Garth Brooks’ “Man Against Machine” (No. 9, 81,000, up 32%) and AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” (No. 10, 76,999, down 19%).

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