Mary J. Blige tops album charts

Thu Jan 3, 2008 3:59am EST

Musician Mary J. Blige performs during a taping in the MTV Studios in Times Square for a New Years Eve special in New York December 21, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Musician Mary J. Blige performs during a taping in the MTV Studios in Times Square for a New Years Eve special in New York December 21, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Mary J. Blige ended Josh Groban's five-week reign on the U.S. pop 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. In between, Alicia Keys' former champ "As I Am" rose one to No. 2 with 193,000.

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" debuted prematurely at No. 157 with 9,000 copies. The album's official U.S. release date was Tuesday, but copies could be found in stores last week. (The band first released the album on the Web a few months ago, allowing fans to name their own price.)

Rounding out the top 10: the "Now 26" hits compilation rose two places to No. 4; Chris Brown's "Exclusive" was up five to No. 5; The Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" fell two to No. 6; Garth Brooks' "The Ultimate Hits" jumped five to No. 7; Taylor Swift's self-titled debut held tight at No. 8; Miley Cyrus' Disney double-disc "Hannah Montana 2 (Soundtrack)/Meet Miley Cyrus" fell four to No. 9; and Colbie Caillat's "Coco" rose seven to No. 10.

Reuters/Billboard

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