LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Beyoncé’s self-titled album claimed the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart for the third week running with 310,000 copies sold during the Christmas week, according to figures released Thursday from Nielsen SoundScan.
The pop star’s fifth solo album has sold a total of 1.3 million copies in the United States in the 17 days from its surprise release through December 29, the final day for tallying this week’s chart.
‘Beyoncé’ is the first album to remain at No. 1 for three weeks since Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” did the same in April, Billboard said.
The album, Beyoncé’s first since 2011, was released Dec. 13 exclusively through Apple’s iTunes digital music store and was not available in other retailers until December 21.
British-Irish boy band One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” moved up one notch to No. 2 with 142,000 copies sold in the week, while rapper Eminem moved to No. 3 from No. 6 with “Marshall Mathers LP 2″ selling 122,000 copies. Billboard said both titles likely benefited from redemption of gift cards for download stores.
With Christmas albums like country pop singer Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red” and “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas” both dropping down in the chart, the soundtrack from the animated movie “Frozen” and Katy Perry’s “PRISM” moved up to round out the top five.
Week-over-week album sales dropped 11 percent for the week ending Dec. 29. Sales last week were down 3 percent from the same period last year and album sales for the year were 8 percent lower than 2012.
Pitbull’s “Timber,” a song featuring Ke$ha, retook the No. 1 spot on the digital track list with 442,000 downloads last week.
(Reporting by Mary Milliken; editing by Andrew Hay)