Beyonce top spot on U.S. Billboard chart

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Beyonce Knowles

Beyonce held onto the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart for the second consecutive week as her new self-titled album sold 374,000 copies in the lead-up to Christmas, according to figures released Thursday from Nielsen SoundScan.

The pop star’s fifth solo album, which was released on December 13, has sold a total of 991,000 copies through December 22, which was the final day for tallying this week’s chart.

Currently the year’s 12th-best selling album, “Beyonce” is expected to crack the top 10 in just a few weeks’ time, Billboard said.

The album, Beyonce’s first since 2011, was released exclusively through Apple’s iTunes digital music store and was not available in other retailers until December 21.

Country music star Garth Brooks held at No. 2 on the chart with his Walmart-exclusive box set, “Blame It All on My Roots,” selling 199,000 copies.

British-Irish boy band One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” moved to No. 3 from No. 5, swapping spots with country-pop singer Kelly Clarkson’s Christmas album, “Wrapped in Red.”

Sales of “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas,” the Christmas album from the “Duck Dynasty” reality TV series’ Robertson family, jumped 22 percent in the week before Christmas landing at No. 4 on the chart.

That jump in the Christmas album’s sales comes amid the controversy over anti-gay comments made by Robertson family patriarch Phil Robertson and published last week.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters)

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