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Year-end music stats are in (and hurting my head)

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Highschool_lNielsen SoundScan has released its mammoth list of music stats for 2006. Some highlights:

– The High School Musical soundtrack was the year’s No. 1 album, and only had to sell 3.7 million copies to earn the title. Releases from Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Nickelback, and Justin Timberlake round out the Top 5.
– Genres that took the bigggest drop in album sales from last year include: New Age (-22.7%), Rap (-20.7%), and R&B (-18.4&); Classical (+22.5%) was the biggest gainer. Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news!
– Digital track sales were up 65%; digital album sales a whopping 101%.
– Total album sales were down 4.9 percent.

Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems also released its list of the most-played songs and artists. As PopWatch has noted, the most ubiquitous song was Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You.” As for the most oversaturated artist, that’s Nickelback, which headed a Top 10 list that includes six country artists: Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, and Keith Urban. No wonder those CMA winners are always thanking country radio.addCredit(“High School Musical: Fred Hayes/Disney Channel”)

It’s probably no surprise that Shakira tops the NBDS list of top musicvideo Internet streams with “Hips Don’t Lie” — or that Rihanna and thePussycat Dolls each make that Top 10 list — twice.

Nielsen Mobile offered its list of Top 10 polyphonic ringtones. TheSuper Mario Bros. theme beat out “My Humps” for the top spot. Morecuriously, how did I totally miss the song at No. 4: Bubba Sparxxx’s”Ms. New Booty?”

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