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Rod Stewart is now among the artists with holiday albums.

Charles Sykes, Associated Press

Artists' sales dreams coming true

  • By TODD MARTENS Los Angeles Times
  • December 19, 2012 - 2:47 PM

Last week the Top 10 on the U.S. album chart included three takes on "White Christmas." It's that time of year, when classic titles such as "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra catalog return to the charts, and younger artists jump straight into the Top 10 with their attempts at the next holiday classic.

Trends come and go, but if there is one sure thing in the music business, it's this: Holiday albums sell. Rod Stewart has a hit with his "Merry Christmas, Baby," an album that's gone as high as No. 3 and has sold more than 475,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Crooner Michael Bublé has a standard in the making with his 2011 album "Christmas." It was the second-bestselling U.S. album of 2011, behind only Adele's "21," and it has sold more than 2.6 million copies. His 2009 album, "Crazy Love," has sold 2.2 million copies.

Country star Blake Shelton has a Top 10 hit with "Cheers, It's Christmas," a title that sold more than 202,000 copies in nine weeks. That's already a quarter of what his July 2011 album, "Red River Blue," has sold in a year and a half.

The holidays have been good to former "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery. As reality show contestants have struggled to match the success of a Carrie Underwood or a Kelly Clarkson, McCreery seems to have been able to maintain the post-"Idol" momentum, with a No. 1 album last year in "Clear as Day" and this year with "Christmas With Scotty McCreery," which has sold more than 200,000 copies in two months.

Christmas tunes are also peppering the digital tracks chart. The usual suspects are there -- Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is on the charts, and so is Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas" -- but don't ever doubt the lasting power of Wham! The long-defunct George Michael duo has sold more than 531,000 downloads of 1984's "Last Christmas."

Want to make music that lasts? Then go Christmas.

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