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Pentatonix Tops Holiday Songs & Albums Charts


By Gary Trust | December 04, 2014 3:04 PM EST

The vocal group is the first act to top both seasonal tallies simultaneously.

We're making a list and checking it twice.

Wait: we make lots of lists! (Approximately 250 a week.) But for a few weeks each year, we add our stable of holiday charts, led by the Holiday 100 songs ranking and Top Holiday Albums. Like the Billboard Hot 100, the Holiday 100 encompasses sales, airplay and streaming activity for its formula; Top Holiday Albums ranks the top-selling seasonal albums by pure sales.

While Top Holiday Albums returned on Oct. 25, the Holiday 100 reawakens this week (dated Dec. 13). (Why the album chart so much earlier? Holiday albums begin making noticeable sales gains a few weeks before radio airplay and digital sales of individual holiday songs hit their full strides.)

Leading both charts this week: Pentatonix. The vocal quintet's "Mary, Did You Know?" tops the Holiday 100, while That's Christmas to Me commands Top Holiday Albums for a sixth week (227,000 sold, up 129 percent, according to Nielsen Music); it's led the latter chart since its Nov. 8 debut. Pentatonix is the first act to top both charts simultaneously since the Holiday 100 launched as a multi-metric tabulation in December 2011.

Meanwhile, That's Christmas to Me is the first album by a group to notch as many as six straight weeks at No. 1 on Top Holiday Albums since Hanson's Snowed In likewise blanketed the list for six weeks in 1997-98.

"Mary" marks Pentatonix's second Holiday 100 No. 1: "Little Drummer Boy" topped the Dec. 21, 2013, chart.

While most of the Holiday 100 consists of songs that were released in prior seasons (with many dating back multiple generations), strong sales can propel new holiday tracks up the chart. Below Pentatonix's "Mary," Ariana Grande bows at No. 2 with "Santa Tell Me." Although it sold slightly more than "Mary" (45,000 vs. 39,000) in the week ending Nov. 30, "Santa" trails the former on the Holiday 100, as Pentatonix's version of the 1984 carol boasts a more than two-to-one lead in streaming points.

Below Pentatonix and Grande on the Holiday 100, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" ranks at No. 3, followed by Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (No. 4) and Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" (No. 5).

A dash through the rest of the Holiday 100 reveals debuts of more newly released songs, including Idina Menzel and Michael Buble's "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (No. 14), Band Aid 30's "Do They Know It's Christmas? (2014)" (No. 55) and Meghan Trainor's "I'll Be Home" (No. 62).

On Top Holiday Albums this week, Menzel's Holiday Wishes is the runner-up to Pentatonix's crowning release. Closing out the top five: Buble's 2011 album Christmas (No. 3), Darius Rucker's new Home for the Holidays (No. 4) and Pentatonix's 2012 EP PTXmas (No. 5).