Best Selling Albums of 2009

Neilsen Soundscan has released the sales figures for 2009's top selling albums, and Taylor Swift beat out Susan Boyle and Michael Jackson for the top spot.

Swift's Fearless sold 3.2 million, just barley ahead of Boyle's I Dreamed A Dream which shifted 3.1 million copies. Jackson's Number Ones came in third selling 2.3 million. Check out 2009's top selling albums below.

1. Fearless
Taylor Swift
3.2 million copies sold
Released November 11, 2008

Swift's victory comes as no surprise. Fearless spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. Eleven songs from the album charted on the Hot 100, including "Love Story" at No. 4 and "You Belong With Me" at No. 2. She became the first country artist to win a MTV Video Music Award (and she won over the hearts of Americans thanks to Kanye). Her cross-over appeal ensured both country and top 40 radio airplay. If that wasn't enough, the album was re-released with six new songs (and yes, all six landed somewhere on the Hot 100) spurring sales even more.

2. I Dreamed A Dream
Susan Boyle
3.1 million copies sold
Released November 23, 2009

Susan Boyle's second place finish is very impressive. Released the last week in November, I Dreamed A Dream managed to sell almost as much as Fearless did in an entire year. Thank you YouTube. Thanks to the Britian's Got Talent contestant's audition clip which went viral, the entire world fell in love with Boyle, the unlikley star. Her compelling story, powerful voice, and collection of ballads released right before Christmas was a recipe for success. Millions of consumers who usually don't buy CDs did (And the best thing about those kinds of consumers? They don't illegally download, nor do they know how).

3. Number Ones
Michael Jackson
2.3 million copies sold
Released November 18, 2003

Chart watchers predicted front runner Fearless would face stiff compitition from Number Ones after Jackson died this June. Although 2.3 million isn't bad for a compilation album released in 2003, sales of Number Ones were cannabalized by consumers buying other Jackson records. I'm sure the Jackson estate isn't too worried; the King of Pop ended up the top selling artist of the year with a total of 8.2 million albums sold. Other albums of his in the top 20 were This Is It landed at No. 12, Thriller at No. 14, and The Essential Michael Jackson at No. 20.

4. The Fame
Lady Gaga
2.2 million copies sold
Released August 19, 2008

I actually got The Fame the day it came out. Lady Gaga had lit the blogosphere on fire, but I had no idea that her debut even had the potential to be one of 2009's biggest selling albums. "Just Dance" took its time climbing up the Hot 100, and consumers responded. Gaga wasn't finished though, popping out hit after hit. After so many smash hit singles, consumers eventually decided that buying the full length album was worth their time. The Fame peaked at No. 4 on the album charts in March, but in December, following the release of The Fame Monster, it shot back into the top ten. As of this week, The Fame is ranked No. 2 on the album charts, a new peak.

5. My Christmas
Andrea Bocelli
2.2 million copies sold
Released November 3, 2009
There is something unfullfilling about a Christmas album selling well. At least it isn't 2007, when the best selling album was a Christmas album, Noel by Josh Groben. I guess that's all I have to say about that.

6. Hannah Montana Movie Soundtrack
The Artist Formerly Known As Hannah Montana
1.8 million copies sold
Released March 23, 2009

The artist formerly known as Hannah Montana had one of the same problems as Michael Jackson - too many releases to choose from. Busy soccer moms had three different 2009 Hannah albums to choose from to play for their girls as they drove their SUVs around. The soundtrack to the Disney star's movie was the best choice though, it had "The Climb" on it for crying out loud!

7. The E.N.D.
The Black Eyed Peas
1.7 million copies sold
Released June 9, 2009

You would think that six straight months with the No. 1 song in the country would ensure a little more than 1.7 million in sales, wouldn't you? And how much of these sales are from when the price for the digital album dramatically dropped to coincide with their DirectTV ad and the group's attempt to return to the top ten and make "Meet Me Halfway" their third No. 1 single?

8. Relapse
1.7 million copies sold
Released May 15, 2009

Eminem had the biggest opening sales week of the year, selling over 600,000 copies of Relapse. That is until Susan Boyle blew him out of the water. Despite a cover that looked like puke in the form of Slim Shady and a slew of under performing singles (except the No. 1 hit "Crack A Bottle"), Relapse was a hit, a comeback for one of the early 00s biggest rappers.

9. Blueprint 3
1.5 million copies sold
Released September 11, 2009

Jay-Z passed Elvis and became the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums when Blueprint 3 opened at the top spot, his 11th to do so. Anchored by high profile guest appearances like Rihanna, Kanye West, and Alicia Keys, Hova appealed to his rap base but had the hooks to cross over to pop. Even though the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana sang about the Jay-Z song being on, she reportedly never heard one. After Blueprint 3 singles impacted radio, I'm sure that changed.

10. Only By The Night
Kings of Leon
1.3 million copies sold
Released September 19, 2009

Like The Fame, I bough Only By The Night the day it was released after I fell in love with "Sex On Fire". The Kings of Leon seemed destined for mediocrity when it came to sales of their latest album, but then "Use Somebody" happened. Its a cheap Nickleback-lite tune, but for some reason, Americans loved it. Not only did they buy the song, but they ended up buying the entire album. Only By The Night ended up being iTune's Album of the Year.


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