Swift's '1989' edges out 'Frozen' for year's top-selling album

Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:04pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Taylor Swift stole the crown from the princesses of "Frozen" in the final week of 2014 as her pop-centric "1989" became the top-selling album of the year, Billboard reported on Wednesday.

In the nine weeks since its release, "1989" sold 3.66 million copies, clipping the 3.53 million in sales for the soundtrack of the Disney blockbuster, which was the top-selling album of the year every week except the final one.

"1989" held the No. 1 spot in the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 chart for the seventh time, selling 430,000 units in the week ending Dec. 28, including 326,000 album copies and over 1 million songs, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

The album, Swift's fourth No. 1, first launched on the back of "Shake It Off," but the single "Blank Space" has taken over and is the top song downloaded digitally, according to Nielsen.

Swift, 25, does not have any streaming sales in a newly configured Billboard formula. She is one of a handful of top artists protesting some streaming sites like the popular Spotify.

In its second week, rapper Nicki Minaj's "The Pinkprint" retained its No. 2 position in the chart with 156,000 total units sold, from 105,000 albums, 405,000 songs and 1.4 million hits on streaming.

A cappella quintet Pentatonix held at No. 3 with "That's Christmas to Me" registering 131,000 total sales units.

The revamped Billboard 200 counts 10 songs downloaded as equal to one album unit, while 1,500 online streams equals one album unit.

The new chart formula unveiled this month is an effort to better represent current music consumption, Billboard said. Album sales have been in steady decline with the rise of individual song downloads and Internet streaming.   Continued...

Singer Taylor Swift performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" to promote her new album "1989" in New York, October 30, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson