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Taylor Swift's ''Red'' holds down top spot on Billboard chart

Singer Taylor Swift performs during New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square in New York December 31, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Lott
Singer Taylor Swift performs during New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square in New York December 31, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country-pop star Taylor Swift's "Red" finished 2012 atop the Billboard 200 album chart on Thursday, claiming the No. 1 spot for the fourth consecutive week.

It was the album's seventh non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the chart as post-holiday digital sales accounted for more than half of its 241,000 units sold, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

Swift, 23, has now topped the Billboard album chart for 24 weeks in her four-album career, tying Adele for the most weeks by a female artist at number one on the chart since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales figures for Billboard in 1991.

The soundtrack to the big screen adaptation of Broadway musical "Les Miserables" jumped 31 spots to number two on the album chart. It sold 136,000 units and was buoyed by a full week on the chart and the release of the film in movie theaters on December 25.

British boy band One Direction placed third with "Take Me Home," while singer Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox" and rapper T.I.'s "Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head" round out the top five.

U.S. album sales for last week were up 27 percent compared to the same week in 2011, at 9.77 million units.

The post-Christmas week, in which many cashed in their holiday gift cards, saw a record for digital song downloads in a week as a total of 55.74 million tracks were downloaded, besting the previous record of 47.73 million from the same week in 2008.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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