Though it’s an American holiday, Thanksgiving must be turning into Susan Boyle’s favorite. After setting records last week with her second album, The Gift, former “Britain’s Got Talent” runner-up Boyle will retain the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart next week thanks to sales of another 335,000 copies, and despite challenges from nine new competitors, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
Last week, Boyle became the first woman, and only other artist besides the Beatles and the Monkees, to land two straight #1 albums within a calendar year in both England and the U.S. She retains the crown as another reality singer from a Simon Cowell-produced show, 10-year-old “America’s Got Talent” runner-up Jackie Evancho, comes in just behind with her debut EP, O Holy Night (#2, 239,000).
That means Rihanna has to settle for a #3 debut for her fifth album, Loud, which sold 207,000 copies. It marked her best U.S. chart sales debut to date, besting the #4 bow of last year’s Rated R, which came in with sales of 181,000. She leads a parade of new names in the top 10 which also includes Josh Groban’s Rick Rubin-produced Illuminations (#4, 191,000), Kid Rock’s Rubin-produced Born Free (#5, 189,000), Rascal Flatts’ Nothing Like This (#6, 165,000), Keith Urban’s Get Closer (#7, 162,000), the “Glee” Christmas album (#8, 161,000) and Nelly’s 5.0 (#10, 63,000).
The only other hold-over from last week’s top 10 is Taylor Swift, whose Speak Now figures dropped by more than 30 percent to 146,000 as her first month of sales crossed the 1.7 million mark. Pink’s greatest-hits collection, Greatest Hits So Far!, comes in at #14 (53,000), just beating out the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Darkness on the Edge of Town outtakes collection The Promise (#16, 47,000).
Season nine “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze set a new record for “Idol” champs, just not the kind he probably wanted. His first major-label effort, Live It Up, is officially the poorest-selling debut from an “Idol” champ in history, notching a lowly #19 chart bow on anemic sales of 39,000. The title was previously held by season-eight winner Kris Allen, whose debut hit the charts in 2009 at #11 on sales of 80,000.
It was a very rough second week for Kid Cudi, whose Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager plummets nearly 80 percent to #21 on sales of 34,000, while Eminem’s Recovery drops 12 spots to #23 while holding steady on sales at 34,000 and crossing the 3 million mark. It was also a big comedown for Cee Lo, as his solo album The Lady Killer nosedives 30 spots to #39 after sales shriveled by 40 percent to 25,000.
Despite selling 2 million digital tracks and 450,000 digital albums in their iTunes coming-out party, the Beatles have only one album in the top 50, with Abbey Road slipping in at #50 (19,000). Thirteen other digital albums chart in the lower regions of the top 200.
The Fab Four are having better luck on the iTunes album chart, where Abbey Road comes in at #6 and a special box set closes out the tally at #10. But it is all Rihanna on that chart, as Loud holds the #1 slot, followed by the “Glee” Christmas album, Rascal Flatts, A Day to Remember’s What Separates Me From You, Urban, Swift, Groban and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
iTunes doesn’t release sales figures, but “Glee” rules the singles countdown thanks to guest Gwyneth Paltrow’s cover of Cee Lo’s “Forget You,” followed by Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R,” Cee Lo’s own sanitized version of his profane hit single, Katy Perry’s “Firework,” Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” and the “Glee” cast’s recording of “Singing in the Rain/Umbrella.” The rest of the singles chart includes #7 song “What’s My Name?” by Rihanna and Drake, the Black Eyed Peas’ “The Time (Dirty Bit),” Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In the World)” and Far East Movement’s “Like a G6.”
Things will get shuffled all over again next week with chart debuts from Kanye, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, My Chemical Romance, Ne-Yo, Jay-Z, Akon, Alan Jackson, Ke$ha and the “Burlesque” soundtrack.