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Taylor Swift Tops Nickelback in a Horse Race

Taylor Swift JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

It's going to take more than a rockin' Horse to buck Taylor Swift .

A blah postholiday sales week pitted two Top 10 mainstays in a race for No. 1, with Swift's Fearless seemingly headed for a photo finish with Nickelback's Dark Horse. But with the teen queen closing the week with a Saturday Night Live appearance, she was finally able to put away the Canadian rockers and register her fifth straight week on top.

Fearless wound up selling 72,000 to Dark Horse's 53,000, per Nielsen SoundScan. Fearless has now topped the charts for six nonconsecutive weeks, the most by any artist since 50 Cent's The Massacre in 2005.

Though sales were dismal for the week ended Sunday, January is notoriously slow and most record companies steer clear of releasing anything of note.

With few newcomers, the biggest bows belonged to a pair of dance albums. DJ Skribble's Total Club Hits 2 led all debuts at No. 16 with 20,000, while Jason Nevins' Ultra Dance 10 sold 12,000 at No. 41.

Over on the Digital Tracks chart, Lady Gaga held the No. 1 spot with "Just Dance," but the All-American Rejects are coming up fast with "Gives You Hell" jumping eight spots to No. 3. In fact, it was the only Top 25 single to experience a weekly sales bump.

Sales are down nearly 27 percent from last week and 14 percent compared to the same week in '08 when the retail release of Radiohead's In Rainbows topped the charts.

To recap, the top 10 albums were as follows:

  1. Fearless, Taylor Swift
  2. Dark Horse, Nickelback
  3. 808s & Heartbreak, Kanye West
  4. I Am… Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé
  5. Twilight soundtrack, various
  6. Circus, Britney Spears
  7. A Different Me, Keyshia Cole
  8. Intuition, Jamie Foxx
  9. Now That's What I Call Music! 29, various
  10. Freedom, Akon

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