Alicia Keys is four for five. Thanks to sales of nearly 159,000, the piano-tickling R&B superstar will score her fourth career #1 Billboard 200 debut next week with Girl On Fire, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.
Girl grabbed the honor despite putting up the lowest first week figures for any of the Grammy-winner’s five studio albums. That was more than enough to keep Taylor Swift at #2 for a third week with Red, which sold another 137,000 copies, for a six-week total north of 2.2 million.
The rest of the top 10 was mostly unchanged, with most of the titles suffering double-digit drops in the run-up to the holiday shopping season. Rod Stewart was up three spots to #3 with Merry Christmas Baby (117,000), One Direction were down one to #4 with Take Me Home (92,000, down 48 percent) and Phillip Phillips slipped a spot to #5 with his debut, The World From the Side of the Moon (74,000, down 56 percent).
The rest of the top 10: Rihanna, Unapologetic (72,000, down 70 percent in week two), Michael Bublé, Christmas (#7, 66,000), Lady Antebellum, On This Winter’s Night (#8, 59,000), Blake Shelton, Cheers, It’s Christmas (#9, 53,000) and Kid Rock, Rebel Soul (#10, 46,000, down 68 percent).
It was a down week overall, as nearly every title in the top 30 suffered single- or double-digit drops. One of the few big gainers was Cee Lo Green’s Cee Lo’s Magic Moment Christmas CD, which shot up 88 spots to #32 on sales of 21,000.
Once again, dozens of holiday-themed releases moved up the ranks, including titles by Josh Groban, the “Glee” cast, Justin Bieber, Colbie Caillat, Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey and She & Him.
Over on the iTunes singles chart, the will.i.am. and Britney Spears single “Scream & Shout” topped the roster, followed by 50 Cent and Eminem’s “My Life,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey.” The rest of the top 10: Phillip Phillips, “Home,” Ke$ha’s “Die Young,” Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” Keys’ “Girl on Fire” and Flo Rida’s “I Cry.”
The top iTunes albums were: Keys, Phillips, electro duo Timeflies’ One Night EP, Rihanna, Bublé, Swift, Tiesto’s Dance (RED) Saves Lives,” the Lumineers’ self-titled debut, Stewart and Mumford & Sons’ Babel.
Next week will feature the chart debuts of new albums from Ke$ha and Wiz Khalifa.