Chart News: Mary J. Blige Moves to Numero Uno

Mary J. Blige ended Josh Groban’s five-week reign on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart Thursday, as the R&B singer’s latest release took the crown a week after it debuted at No. 2. “Growing Pains,” the fourth Billboard 200 chart-topper of Blige’s career, sold 204,000 copies in the week ended December 30, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Groban’s “Noel” fell to No. 3 with 178,000 units. Not surprisingly, sales slumped as the Christmas shopping frenzy subsided. The tally for “Noel” slid 77% from the week before, while “Growing Pains” was off by 68%. Most of the other discs in the top 10 fell by more than 50%. Meanwhile, Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” debuts prematurely due to street date violations at No. 157, with 9,000 copies sold. The album’s official release date was yesterday (Jan. 1) in North America via TBD Recordings/ATO. Back near the top rung, Alicia Keys’ “As I Am” (J) takes a 59% sales hit but moves up 3-2 with 193,000, while the “Now 26” multi-label hits compilation ascends 6-4 with 98,000 (-58%). Chris Brown’s Jive set, “Exclusive,” climbs 10-5 with a 51% decline to 87,000, and the Eagles’ “Long Road Out of Eden” (Eagles Recording Co.) falls 4-6 with 85,000, a 72% decrease.

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