Taylor Swift holds tight to the No. 1 position on The Billboard 200 in its second week, moving 320,000. That’s down 69% in sales compared to last week but, then again, the country crossover act did sell more than a million. So no complaining here.

Country singer Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” bows at No. 2 with 193,000 copies, which trumps his previous charting and sales bests. His 2009 album “Wide Open” used to hold those personal records, after starting at No. 4 with 109,000.

Former chart-topper Sugarland’s “The Incredible Machine” dips from No. 2 to No. 3 with 60,000, a 32% drop. Read our interview with Sugarland's Kristian Bush here.

Now, so long as you count Swift as a country act, that means the top three spots on the tally are occupied by country artists – that’s the first time in three years that such a feat was a achieved.

Just as we reported yesterday, Mariah Carey is among many who are releasing Christmas albums in 2010. Her “Merry Christmas II You” decks the hall at No. 4 with 55,000, making it the singer’s 16th top 10 set. Her first holiday album, 1994’s “Merry Christmas,” took No. 3.

Freshly freed Lil Wayne and his “I Am Not a Human Being” descend from No. 4 to No. 5 despite a 5% sales gain to 49,000. Kings of Leon’ “Come Around Sundown” falls No. 3 to No. 6 (40,000, -40%) as Eminem’s “Recovery” slips No. 5 to No. 7 (38,000, +1%).

Neil Diamond is back into the top tier as “Dreams” enters at No. 8 with 35,000. It’s his 17th top 10 album.

Brad Paisley’s hits collection “Hits Alive” starts at No. 9 with 31,000. Elton John and Leon Russell’s “The Union” falls No. 6 to No. 10 (27,000, -27%).

Sales are down 6% compared to last week and down 21% compared to the same sales week last year. Sales for the year are down 13% total for the year so far.


After five years as a columnist and editor at Billboard, Katie Hasty joined HitFix in 2009 for music and film reporting out of New York. The Midwest native has worked as a writer, music promoter and in A&R since 1999 and performs with her band Numbers And Letters.