Meanwhile her Love The Way You Lie collaboration with Eminem has just enough energy to cross the finishing line ahead of Matt Cardle's When We Collide as the best-selling single of 2010, even though the latter track spends a third straight week atop the singles chart, where its nearest challenger is the latest Rihanna hit, What's My Name, which also features Drake.
Rihanna's fifth album, Loud is her second number one - her first, Good Girl Gone Bad, spent a week at the summit in 2007. Sales of 76,237 copies last week lift its career tally to 839,608, putting it well ahead of immediate predecessor, 2009's Rated R, which reached number nine and has thus far sold 602,408 copies.
Good Girl Gone Bad is by far her most successful album, with sales to date of 1,6923,928, while her 2005 debut Music Of The Sun (number 35) has sold 142,792 copies, and 2006 follow-up A Girl Like Me (number five) has sold 587,308 copies.
Slipping 1-2 with sales off a hefty 84.7% (to 53,533) to accommodate Rihanna's rise to number one, Take That's Progress thus matches the opening run of six weeks at number one racked up by their two previous 21st century albums, Beautiful World (2006/7) and The Circus (2008/9). The only other group to have an album spend more than five weeks at number one since 2000, is The Beatles, whose 1 compilation topped the list for nine weeks in a row in 2000/1.
In 48 days since its release, Progress has thus far sold 1,841,148 copies. It is the second highest tally achieved by an album in that period: Robson & Jerome's self-titled debut passed the 2m mark on its 48th day on release early in 1996.
Post-Christmas discounting reawakens many albums that return to the Top 10 this week.
With a bargain basement price of £3 in Morrison's, Plan B's Defamation Of Strickland Banks ends a nine-week absence from the Top 10, bouncing 21-3, on sales of 44,285 copies.
Tinie Tempah's Disc-Overy is £4.99 at HMV and Amazon, and ends an identical exile from the upper echelon, pouncing 26-4 (34,644 sales). The Wanted's self-titled debut album is £4.99 at HMV, Amazon and Play a mere 10 weeks into its life, prompting it to climb 22-5 (33,286 sales).
Mumford & Son's 2009 sleeper Sigh No More is tagged at £3.99 at Amazon and Play and ends an 11-week hiatus from Top 10 duty, leaping 36-6 (29,424 sales). Many other albums are similarly slashed in price, and in recovery as a result - but their re-emergence and the end of the gifting season mean steep declines for Michael Buble's Crazy Love (3-10, 23,203 sales), Olly Murs' self-titled debut (4-11, 22,493 sales), Michael Jackson's Michael (5-30, 12,714 sales) and Susan Boyle's seasonally-slanted The Gift (7-34, 10,827 sales), among others.
In the midst of such turbulence, only one new album debuts on the chart - tenor Alfie Boe's show tunes set Bring Him Home, which arrives at number 24 (16,118 sales), easily eclipsing the number 72 chart peak of his only previous charting set, 2007's Onward.
Now That's What I Call Music! 77 spends a seventh straight week atop the compilation chart, with sales of 55,910 lifting its career tally to 1,195,244. That makes it the biggest selling Now! album since 2007's Now! 68, which has thus far sold 1,261,539 copies.
Overall album sales shrink 47.61% week-on-week to 2,993,919 - 5.23% below same week 2009 sales of 3,159,293 - but digital sales improved 39.19% week-on-week to 680,237. It is only the second time they've ever topped the half million mark - beating the 517,236 copies sold exactly a year ago - and represents a 22.72% share of the market, beating the previous record of 18.63% set 51 weeks ago.
NOTE: During Music Week's gap week, it was widely reported that Take That's Progress sold more than 430,000 on its sixth week as the number one album, with Rihanna's Loud selling 300,000 at number two. Matt Cardle's When We Colide was also credited with 300,000 sales on its second week as number one single.
In reality, a software glitch at Millward Brown, where the OCC data is crunched, caused erroneous upweighting of sales for Christmas Day. The re-run data resulted in more than a million sales being lopped off the original estimate of album sales with Progress being downgraded to 350,328, Loud being re-estimated at 248,933 and When We Collide at 262,952.
While album nearly halved last week, singles sales soared to an all-time high.
In the survey period, to midnight on Saturday, 4,757,429 singles were sold - that's 28% up week-on-week and 12.71% above the same week in 2009, when the previous record of 4,220,989 was set.
The only other occasion on which more than 4m singles were sold was the same week in 2008, when 4,028,841 singles were sold. The gifting of mp3 players and iTunes vouchers, combined with a surfeit of surfing time always produces a major bubble for digital sales - singles and albums - at this time.
The top 54 singles sold upwards of 10,000 copies last week, breaking the old record of 45 set in the same week last year. The Number 75 single - Starry Eyed by Ellie Goulding - sold 6,190 copies. Six years ago this week, with CD sales flagging and the fledgling download market not surveyed, Kasabian's Cut Off debuted at number eight with a lower sale of just 5,774.
Number one for the third week in a row, X Factor champion Matt Cardle's When We Collide is one of only four singles in the Top 40 to suffer a decline in sales week-on-week, sliding 57% to 113,037. After 20 days on release, its overall sales stand at 814,996 - leaving Love The Way You Lie by Eminem feat. Rihanna to claim the title of 2010's biggest-seller with a to date tally of 854,144, including 20,110 last week.
Rihanna's latest hit, What's My Name, holds at number two (98,182 sales), with Black Eyed Peas' This Time (Dirty Bit) also stationary at number three (76,971 sales). With Christmas-related songs beating a hasty retreat, there are 10 re-entries to the Top 75 but only one debut: Hello by Martin Solveig feat, Dragonette (number 73, 6,496 sales).
The first 58 years of singles chart history brought no hits entitled The Flood but the last six months has seen three of them, all different.
Katie Melua set the ball rolling with a song she wrote for her album The House, with Guy Chambers and Lauren Christy. It reached number 35 in May.
Chambers' erstwhile writing partner Robbie Williams penned a song of the same name along with his Take That colleagues as the introductory single from the band's Progress album. It reached number two in November, and is number seven this week, with sales to date of 392,003 copies.
Last week saw Cheryl Cole's recording of a Wayne Wilkins, Christopher Jackson and Priscilla Hamilton song of the same title join Take That in the Top 40. The second single from Cole's Messy Little Raindrops album, and the follow-up to the chart-topping Promise This, it has thus far moved 74-63-53-26-30 and has failed to revive Cole's album, which debuted at number one but has since fallen eight times in a row, moving 1-3-8-12-15-16-17-19-26. Sales of 13,562 last week lift Messy Little Raindrops' cumulative tally to 426,685 - less than half the 938,153 copies Cole's solo debut 3 Words has sold since its 2009 release.