Susan Boyle Tops Rihanna on The Album Chart

Scottish singer Susan Boyle’s second album “The Gift” held on to the top spot on the Billboard 200 album charts for a second week, beating new releases by R&B artist Rihanna, and Kid Rock.

Boyle, who became an Internet sensation after appearing on “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009, also scored a rare second-week sales increase, up 5 percent with 335,000 sales of her Christmas-themed album, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Boyle was joined by a kindred TV spirit as 10-year-old “America’s Got Talent” runner-up Jackie Evancho saw her “O Holy Night” bow with 239,000 at No. 2. The four song EP — bolstered with a DVD of performances — carries an economical list price of $8.

Rihanna captured her fifth top 10 set with “Loud” coming in at No. 3 with 207,000 — her best sales week yet — while her single “Only Girl” rebounded to No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart.

Boyle and Evancho’s albums are two of three holiday efforts in the top 10, making the biggest Christmas tally since January 1993. The cast of TV musical comedy “Glee” with their “Christmas Album” came in at No. 8 with 161,000.

The top nine albums all sold more than 100,000 each.

Josh Groban’s “Illuminations” lit up at No. 4 with 191,000 sales. Kid Rock’s “Born Free” bowed at No. 5 with 189,000, with digital downloads accounting for 23,000 of his total. It is the sixth top 10 for both singers.

Rascal Flatts’ “Nothing Like This” entered at No. 6 with 165,000, marking the country band’s seventh top 10 album. Meanwhile, Keith Urban saw his latest release, “Get Closer,” start at No. 7 with 162,000.

The eighth and final top 10 debut of the week belonged to Nelly, who took 10th place with his “5.0” shifting 63,000.

Aside from Boyle, the only holdover in the top 10 was Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now,” which dropped seven slots to No. 9 in its fourth week.

On the digital songs chart, the “Glee” cast’s take on Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You,” featuring actress Gwyneth Paltrow, arrived at No. 1 with 192,000. It was Paltrow’s second No. 1 on a Billboard music chart following “Cruisin’,” a duet with Huey Lewis, which topped the adult contemporary radio chart in 2000.

Green’s original version of “Forget You” (aka “F*** You”) rallied up 10 slots to a new peak of No. 2 with a one-week high of 191,000 downloads (up 94 percent).

The “Glee” mash-up of “Singing in the Rain/Umbrella” also made the Top 10, taking 7th place with 140,000 downloads.

Overall album sales in the chart week ending November 21 totaled 8.12 million units, up 2 percent compared to the comparable sales week of 2009.

Year to date album sales stand at 261.78 million, down 13% compared to the same total at this point last year. Digital track sales for the week were 22.47 million, up 19 percent compared to the comparable week of 2009.

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