"Britney Jean" enters the Billboard 200 at No. 4, with first-week sales of 107K. That's the lowest entry position and first-week sales tally ever for a Spears studio album. Her only previous studio album to fail to debut at No. 1 was 2007's "Blackout," which opened at No. 2. Her previous low first-week sales tally for a studio album was her very first, "…Baby One More Time," which sold 121K in its first week in January 1999.
Spears's slide has been sudden. "Circus" started with sales of 505K in December 2008. "Femme Fatale opened with 276K in April 2011.
Spears begins a Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood on Dec. 27. That's what artists usually do when their hit-making years have run down; it's unusual for artists who have had recent hits. And Spears most definitely has: "Femme Fatale" was the first album of her now 15-year career to spawn three Top 10 singles. The Las Vegas play, and the fact that Spears is now a 32-year old mother of two, may be making it harder for young fans to relate to her.
It's Brooks' ninth No. 1 album; his first since 2001. That extends his lead as the country artist with the most No. 1 albums. Among all artists, only four have had more: The Beatles (19), Jay Z (13), Elvis Presley (10) and Springsteen (10). The Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand are tied with Brooks with nine.
One Direction's "Midnight Memories dips from No. 1 to No. 2. The album held up better on the U.K.'s Official Albums Chart, where it holds at No. 1 for the second week.
Pentatonix's album (which originally came out in 2012) moves up to No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums, displacing Bublé's album. It's also No. 1 on Top Digital Albums.
This is the third year in a row that Bublé's album has cracked the Top 10. It spent five weeks at No. 1 in 2011 and climbed as high as No. 3 in 2012.
"A Mary Christmas" is Blige's 12th Top 10 album, which is the most of any African-American female solo artist in chart history. If you combine group and solo albums, Diana Ross is tied with Blige. Ross had eight Top 10 albums fronting theSupremes and four more on her own. Blige's Top 10 albums span more than 21 years (from "What's The 411? in September 1992 to this week). Ross' Top 10 albums spanned a little less than 16 years (from the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go" in December 1964 to "Diana" in November 1980).
Four albums drop out of the Top 10 this week. Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" falls from No. 7 to No. 13. Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" drops from No. 8 to No. 14. Cyrus's "Bangerz" tumbles from No. 9 to No. 21. "NOW 48" dips from No. 10 to No. 12.
Jake Owen's "Days of Gold" debuts at No. 15. This is his third Top 15 album in a row, though it didn't chart as high as his last, "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," which reached No. 6 in September 2011.
"The Sound of Music" TV soundtrack, featuring Carrie Underwood, debuts at No. 17. The show aired live on NBC on Sunday. This is the third treatment of theRodgers and Hammerstein score to crack the Top 20. The original cast album, featuring Mary Martin, logged 16 weeks at No. 1 in 1960. The movie soundtrack, featuring Julie Andrews, spent two weeks at No. 1 in 1965.
This isn't the first TV soundtrack from a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that aired live on network TV to climb high on the Billboard chart. "Cinderella," which starred Andrews, aired on CBS on March 31, 1957. The album peaked at No. 15 in April.
There are two more Christmas albums in the top 20. Susan Boyle's "Home for Christmas jumps from No. 23 to No. 19 in its sixth week, matching its highest ranking to date. … The Piano Guys's "A Family Christmas leaps from No. 69 to No. 20 in its seventh week. The total number of Christmas albums on the Billboard 200 dips from 48 to 44 this week.
Kid Rock tops 25 million in career album sales this week. His three best-selling albums are "Devil Without a Cause" (9,300,000), "Cocky" (5,344,000) and "Rock and Roll Jesus" (3,493,000).
Streisand's "Back to Brooklyn" jumps to No. 1 on Top Music Videos. It's her fifth music video to reach No. 1 on this chart.