Taylor Swift’s Evermore album holds atop the Billboard 200 chart for a second week, as the set earned 169,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 24 (down 49%), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The album opened at No. 1 a week ago with 329,000 units.
Meanwhile, Paul McCartney’s new McCartney III debuts at No. 2 with 107,000 equivalent album units – of which 104,000 are in album sales. McCartney III is also the top-selling album of the week. Also, Eminem’s former No. 1 Music to Be Murdered By surges 199-3 after its deluxe reissue on Dec. 18 with 16 additional tracks. (All versions of the album, new and old, are combined for tracking purposes.)
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Jan. 2, 2021-dated chart (where Evermore holds at to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Dec. 29. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Evermore’s 169,000 equivalent album units earned in the tracking week ending Dec. 24, album sales comprise just under 102,000 (down 34%), SEA units comprise 66,000 (down 61%, equaling 86.15 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs) and TEA units comprise a little a little over 1,000 (down 85%).
Evermore’s second week was aided by the arrival of the album on CD on Dec. 18. The set was only available to purchase as a digital download in its first week of release. Cassette and vinyl LP configurations are due in 2021.
Evermore is the companion set to her earlier No. 1 album Folklore, which bowed atop the Aug. 8-dated Billboard 200. Folklore descends 3-8 on the new Billboard 200 with 53,000 equivalent album units (down 61%). Both albums were released with little advance notice.
Paul McCartney’s McCartney III debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 105,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 102,000 are in album sales – which also makes it the top-selling album of the week, as it debuts at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart. SEA units comprise 3,000 units (equating to 4.12 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks), and TEA units comprise a negligible number.
McCartney III’s robust sales were aided by its availability across many CD and vinyl LP editions, including versions with alternative cover art or colored vinyl. The album was issued in more than 10 vinyl variants which combined to sell 32,000 copies – the third-largest sales week for a vinyl album since Nielsen Music/MRC Data began electronically tracking music sales in 1991. Only the debut weeks of Jack White’s Lazaretto (40,000) and Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy (34,000) were larger. McCartney III naturally also premieres at No. 1 on the weekly Vinyl Albums chart, which ranks the top selling vinyl LPs of the week. All told, McCartney III is McCartney’s 21st top 10 album on the Billboard 200. That tally includes his solo recordings and his albums with Wings.
Notably, McCartney is the first act to have a new album reach the top two in each of the last six decades. He reached the top two eight times in the 1970s and once each in the ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, ’10s and ’20s. (McCartney is additionally just the third act with new top 10 albums in the last six decades, alongside Bruce Springsteen and James Taylor. McCartney and Springsteen are the only acts with new top five-charting albums in the last six decades as well.)
Back on the new Billboard 200, Eminem’s former No. 1 Music to Be Murdered By surges from No. 199 to No. 3 after the album was surprise-reissued in a deluxe edition on Dec. 18 with 16 bonus tracks. The deluxe redux is dubbed Music to Be Murdered By: Side B. The original 20-track album was surprise-released on Jan. 17 and premiered at No. 1 on the chart dated Feb. 1. For tracking purposes, all versions of the album, new and old, are combined.
In the tracking week ending Dec. 24, Music to Be Murdered By earned 94,000 equivalent album units (up 1,125%). Of that sum, SEA units comprise 57,000 (up 761%, equaling 82.01 million on-demand streams of the 36 tracks), album sales comprise 33,000 (up 3,401%) and TEA units comprise 4,000 (up 3,868%).
With the latest tracking week ending on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, the top 10 of the Billboard 200 is especially festive, as six holiday sets dot the region, mostly powered by streaming activity of their seasonal songs. (The top 10 last housed six holiday sets on the Jan. 5, 1959-dated chart, when Mitch Miller’s Christmas Sing Along With Mitch was tops and the entire top five were Christmas titles.)
Leading the six-pack of holiday albums in the top 10 on the latest Billboard 200 is Michael Bublé’s former No. 1 Christmas, which is steady at No. 4 with 77,000 equivalent album units (up 33%). Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas jumps 10-5 (60,000; up 36%), Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song hits a new high, as it climbs 8-6 with 60,000 units (up 33%, surpassing its previous peak of No. 7), Carrie Underwood’s 2020 release My Gift (the newest holiday album in the top 10) falls 6-7 (57,000; up 21%) and Pentatonix’s The Best of Pentatonix Christmas jingles 13-9 (51,000; up 24%).
Lastly, Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas reaches the top 10 of the Billboard 200 for the first time, as the album rises 12-10 (50,000 equivalent album units earned; up 20%). The set was released in 1965 as the companion album to the animated TV special and did not reach any Billboard ranking until 1987. That year, it debuted on the Top Holiday Albums chart, where it later peaked at No. 2 (Jan. 27, 2007).