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Mary J. Blige’s hotly anticipated Geffen album Growing Pains hits the streets today with the latest challenge to Groban’s dominance, fresh off her ubiquitous iTunes TV spot.
THE END IS NEAR: GROBAN HITS 666
No Josh: Noel Crooner is #1 for Fourth Straight Week, Mannheim Steamrollers to Top 5
Repent, folks. The apocalypse is now.

That’s because cherubic crooner Josh Groban not only hits the top of the HITS album chart for the fourth consecutive week with Noel, he does it with the beastly number of 666k in total sales, a sure harbinger of imminent doomsday.

Of course, the minute the clock strikes midnight on December 25, his gig will presumably be up, but as of now, David Foster’s choirboy has a grip on the holiday season like the Grinch who stole Christmas.

J RecordsAlicia Keys continues in the two-spot with an impressive 299k, bringing her five-week total for As I Am to just this side of two million, while ERC’s The Eagles continue that peaceful easy feeling with 244k for their Wal-Mart exclusive, The Long Road Out of Eden, which as a new meaning after today’s earth-shattering events.

The week’s big mover is American Gramaphone’s hardy perennial Mannheim Steamroller, whose Christmas Song rockets #11-4, up a ginormous 118% for UMG indie distribbery Fontana.

EMI’s Now 26 (#5), Walt Disney’s 1-2 punch of High School Musical 2 (#6) and Hannah Montana 2 (#7), along with three country acts in Big Machine’s Taylor Swift (#8, +44%), Arista Nashville’s Carrie Underwood (#9) and Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks (#10), round out the Top 10. That’s two for Machine’s Scott Borchetta, if you’re counting.

Columbia’s Bow Wow & Omarion collaboration, Face Off, is the week’s top debut at #12, followed by Cash Money’s Birdman (#18), J’s Mario (#22), SRC/Universal Motown’s Wu Tang Clan (#25) and Def Jam’s Beanie Sigel (#38).

Among the week’s big gainers are Atlantic’s Led Zeppelin (#13, +49%), Decca’s Andrea Bocelli (#17, +66%), Rounder’s Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (#20, +62%), RCA/RMG’s Daughtry (#27, +40%) and BNA/SBMG Nashville’s Kenny Chesney (#41, +43%).

Def Jam’s The-Dream (#28), Reprise’s Michael Buble (#32), Columbia’s Bruce Springsteen (#40), Fueled by Ramen Best New Artist Grammy nominee Paramore (#43) and WB’s Linkin Park (#46) all return to the charts.

Mary J. Blige’s hotly anticipated Geffen album Growing Pains hits the streets today with the latest challenge to Groban’s dominance, fresh off her ubiquitous iTunes TV spot.

Also hitting the street: Atlantic’s Lupe Fiasco, DTP/IDJ’s Disturbing Tha Peace and Chingy, Atlantic’s Jaheim and GospoCentric/ZLG gospel star Kirk Franklin.

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