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UMG had a staggering 23 titles in the Top 50, including three of the Top 5 and seven of the Top 10.

2005 TOP 50 ALBUMS: FINAL TALLY

How the Big Four Fared, Artist by Artist and Label by Label
In his year-end column, I.B. Bad ran down the respective marketshares and top sellers of the Big Four in 2005. Here’s more detail on the Top 50 albums of the year just ended.

UMG had a staggering 23 titles in the Top 50, including three of the Top 5 and seven of the Top 10. IDJ diva Mariah Carey took the crown, selling 4.97 million (last spring, I.B. cannily projected that it would finish the year at 5 million), while Kanye West (2.41m) came in at #9. Heavyweight champ IGA nabbed #2 with 50 Cent (4.85m), #5 with the Black Eyed Peas (3.04m), #8 with Gwen Stefani (2.5m) and #10 with The Game (2.28m). The marketshare leader’s other Top 10 finisher was Lyric Street/Hollywood country act Rascal Flatts (2.51m) at #7. Universal’s best seller was #16 Jack Johnson (1.76m). UMG’s other Top 50 contributors were Mercury Nashville (two), DreamWorks Nashville (two) and UMe (one).

Sony BMG had 16 albums in the Top 50 but just one in the Top 10—RCA/RMG’s Kelly Clarkson, whose 3.5m put her at #3. Other biggies on the BMG side were RLG’s Kenny Chesney, with two Top 50 entries—#15 The Road and the Radio (1.82m) and #44 Be As You Are (1.05m); Arista/RMG’s Carrie Underwood (1.64m) at #20; LaFace/ZLG’s Ciara (1.53m) at#22; and RCA/RMG’s Dave Matthews Band (1.33m) at #30. At Sony Music, Columbia’s top seller was System of a Down’s Mezmerize (1.65m), good for #19, with rookie sensation John Legend (1.38m) nabbing #29; in all Columbia had five LPs in the Top 50, the most of any SBMG label group (RMG had four and ZLG had three). As for Epic, apart from #26 Now 18, the top seller was #34 Gretchen Wilson (1.21m).  

Warner Music had a half dozen entries in the Top 50, with Warner Bros./Reprise accounting for all but one of them. Leading the way was Reprise’s resurgent Green Day, locking up the #4 slot on 3.36m. Next was #21 Faith Hill (WB, 1.53m), with #32 Mike Jones (Asylum/WB, 1.29m) one position ahead of Michael Buble (Reprise, 1.23m). Atlantic’s lone entry was #36 Rob Thomas (1.21m).

EMI finished up with four Top 50 albums, the biggest of which was #6 Coldplay, who sold 2.62m. Capitol’s Now 19 finished at #13, Virgin’s Gorillaz moved 1.53m units, good for #23. And Capitol Nashville scored with Aussie hillbilly Keith Urban, #17 on 1.71m.

The lone indie entry was Concord’s Grammy-winning Ray Charles duets album (1.2m) at #38.

Fun fact: of the Top 50 albums, 48 sold more than a million units. 

REVENUE CHART:
RAINING CATS & DOGS
Starring Doja Cat, Nipper and Ms. Larry David (5/13a)
RECORDING ACADEMY LOCKS IN HARVEY MASON JR. AS CEO
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (5/14a)
TIME TRAVELING
WITH CLIVE (UPDATE)
Beam us up, Uncle Clive. (5/13a)
ROCK HALL INDUCTEES:
NEW & OVERDUE
Todd gets in. Finally. (5/13a)
KG's HOT ALT SUMMER
She also reviews the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers. (5/13a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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