| CLOSING IN: Carey at a photo-call in Munich (AFP)
Los Angeles, Dec. 28 (Reuters): Pop songbird Mariah Carey, enjoying one of the music industry’s biggest comebacks, is giving rap star 50 Cent a run for his money in a year-end, down-to-the-wire race for best-selling US album of 2005.
As of Christmas Day, 50 Cent stood at No. 1 in the US with 4.8 million copies of sophomore album The Massacre sold since March, according to the latest figures from retail sales tracker Nielsen SoundScan.
Carey was closing in rapidly on the rapper with her latest Grammy-nominated collection, The Emancipation of Mimi, which has tallied sales of 4.6 million since its release in April, Nielsen SoundScan reported.
At current sales rates, Carey would overtake 50 Cent by year’s end. On the latest sales chart, Mimi ranked at No. 7 with weekly sales of 191,000 copies, compared with just 21,000 for Massacre.
Both albums topped the charts in their opening weeks but neither has set a sales benchmark for the artists.
The 2003 major-label debut from 50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Tryin', has sold 7.4 million copies to date. Carey’s all-time hottest seller was 1995’s Daydream, which notched 7.5 million US copies.
Still, the success of Mimi marks a dramatic turnaround for Carey, 35, whose career hit the skids four years ago.
This year has seen a startling reversal of Carey’s fortunes. In addition to robust album sales, Mimi garnered Carey eight Grammy Award nominations earlier this month, including nods for album of the year and record of the year for the CD’s first single, We Belong Together.