On the charts: Is there room for the Black Eyed Peas in the Season of the Boyle?
The music business doesn't have an overabundance of sure things these days, but a holiday-themed album from Susan Boyle probably comes close. Like a warm cup of cider, Boyle's "The Gift" is all yuletide comfort, and Boyle fans have propelled the album to more than 1.1 million in sales in four weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In the last week alone, the album has sold 272,000 copies.
In its return to the pole position on the U.S. pop chart, Boyle knocks out Kanye West, whose "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" slides to No. 7 in its second full week. A return to hip-hop after the downbeat "808s & Heartbreak," West's "Fantasy" has generated a bounty of media attention and given the artist a solid two-week total of 605,000 copies sold.
Boyle has a lead over Taylor Swift on the Billboard-managed tallies. The country star's "Speak Now" has already sold more than 2.1 million copies, racking up an additional 182,000 copies sold this week. A number of holiday albums infiltrate the charts, including Jackie Evancho's "O Holy Night" and the latest collection of music from the Fox show "Glee." The two sit at Nos. 3 and 4, each selling a little more than 128,000 copies.
If there is a surprise at the top of this week's tally, it's the non-Super Bowl-like start for the Black Eyed Peas' "The Beginning." The album bows at No. 6, selling just 119,000 copies during the inflated holiday sales season.
Perhaps oversaturation, or a weak first single in "The Time (Dirty Bit)," which isn't so much a song as a collection of zippy effects built around the "Dirty Dancing" ballad "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," but the ubiquitous pop outfit had a much better start with last year's "The E.N.D." The latter landed at No. 1 in June, and sold more than 300,000 copies in its first seven days at retail.
Other notable entries this week include Jazmine Sullivan's "Love Me Back," which starts at No. 17 with 56,000 copies sold, and Chrisette Michele's "Let Freedom Reign," which lands at No. 25 with 42,000 copies.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Susan Boyle. Credit: Getty Images