Holiday season sales: There's no stopping Susan Boyle
British singing sensation Susan Boyle continues her dominance of the U.S. pop charts, with her orchestral-lite takes on boomer standards hitting a sweet spot with music buyers. In three weeks, her "I Dreamed a Dream" has sold a stunning 1.8 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, surpassing 2009 releases from such mega-stars as Eminem and Green Day, and even overtaking another TV-made phenomena -- the soundtrack to "Hannah Montana: The Movie," which has sold 1.7 million copies since its release in the spring.
How far can Boyle go? Expect her sales to coast through the holidays. It will be worth watching to see what happens in January, when music sales typically plummet. With comfy-soft renditions of "Daydream Believer," "Amazing Grace" and more, Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" is clearly built for holiday-timed sales, and it's taking full advantage.
Her album hit another milestone this week too, racking up an additional 582,000 copies sold. Billboard reports that "I Dreamed a Dream" is the first album by a woman to sell 500,000 copies in each of its first three weeks since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. If Boyle's pace stays relatively steady, and with three sales weeks left in 2009, including the two biggest of the year, her album could top 3 million copies sold and quite possibly become the year's top seller. But one week at a time.
Other notes from this week's chart:
Blame retail? Chris Brown's "Graffiti" lands at No. 7 on this week's pop chart, just cracking the six-figure sales mark at 102,000 copies. That would seem to be a solid number, considering his controversial year, which included Brown being sentenced to five years' probation and 180 days' community service after his February attack on pop star Rihanna, and taking to Twitter (now disabled) to rant that music sellers weren't stocking his album. Billboard retail guru Ed Christman reported that Sony's Jive Records shipped more than 400,000 copies of "Graffiti," and quoted retailers as saying they had plenty in stock. His 2007 effort "Exclusive" sold 294,000 copies when it debuted.
Show off your jazz hands: Can't get enough of your favorite pop hits, but wish they were a little more show-tuney fabulous? Sony has two volumes of the soundtrack to the Fox series "Glee" in the top 20, with the latest, featuring Broadway-ready takes of "Proud Mary" and "Jump," entering at No. 3, and selling 173,000 copies in its first week. The first volume in the series sits at No. 11, selling an additional 85,000 copies this week, and 426,000 total.
The Bieber is on the attack: Young 'un Justin Bieber looks to be a pop favorite this Christmas. His "My World" has been on the chart for four weeks, and it's back in the top 10 this week, at No. 8. The Island effort sold an additional 97,000 copies, bringing it to a total of 392,000 copies sold. The tyke's feel-good rap of "One Time" is the fourth-most viewed video on YouTube this week, according to data from Big Champagne.
Missing Paramore: The soundtrack to "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" has performed admirably, having sold 780,000 copies to date. It is, however, on the verge of falling outside the top 20, drifting from No. 9 to No. 17 this week, and it doesn't look to be on the pace of the soundtrack to the first "Twilight." The latter is at No. 70 this week, and has sold more than 2.3 million copies. While the music accompaniment to "New Moon" received generally positive reviews, it has lacked a runaway hit single.
Other notable newcomers: Hip-hop artist Gucci Mane enters at No. 10 with his "The State Vs. Radric Davis," an album that sold 90,000 copies in its debut week. Jimmy Buffet's "Buffet Hotel" checks in at No. 16 (68,000 copies), while "This Is War," from Jared Leto's 30 Seconds to Mars," hunkers down at No. 18, having sold just under 67,000 copies. Snoop Dogg's "Malice 'N Wonderland" entered at No. 21 with 59,000 copies sold, Timbaland's "Shock Value 2" lands at No. 32 with 39,000 copies sold, and further down, rap duo Clipse enters at No. 41 with "Til the Casket Drops," which sold 31,000 copies.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Susan Boyle. Credit: Getty Images