Singer J. Cole ousts Taylor Swift from top of Billboard 200

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[December 18, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters) - American hip hop artist J. Cole bumped pop singer Taylor Swift from the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 on Wednesday, pushing her into second place.

Cole's "2014 Forest Hill Drive" album sold 354,000 full copies, 109,000 songs and was streamed more than 16 million times. Under Billboard's new formula, that totals 375,000 units in its debut week.

Swift's "1989" album, which includes the triple Grammy nominated song "Shake It Off," sold 324,000 units, while a cappella group Pentatonix dropped to third place with its holiday album "That's Christmas to Me," with 218,000 units.

In the new chart formula unveiled by Billboard two weeks ago, 10 songs equal one album unit and 1,500 online streams equals one album unit.

Carrie Underwood's "Greatest Hits: Decade #1" entered the chart at No. 4 with 103,000 units, followed by veteran rockers AC/DC's "Rock or Bust," who rounded out the top five after slumping from third place last week.

Singer K. Michelle was the only other new entry to the chart, placing sixth with her album "Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?" with 87,000 units.

In the digital songs chart, Swift retained the No. 1 spot with "Blank Space" with 249,000 downloads, while Irish Grammy-nominated musician Hozier climbed from third to second place this week with "Take Me to Church" selling 202,000 downloads.

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and David Gregorio)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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