Soundscan’s 2009 officially ended at midnight on Monday morning, and Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle were racing for the prize for best-selling album of the year. Swift manages to win in a photo finish. “Fearless” sold 3.22 million copies in the calendar year, just a shade over Boyle’s 3.10 million. Boyle can take some consolation in the fact that “I Dreamed a Dream” tops the Billboard album chart for a sixth consecutive week, with sales of 137,000 copies as the industry winds down from the holiday boom.

Actually, this week’s Top 5 is very kind to the fairer sex. Aside from Boyle at the top and Swift at #5, the chart is filled out by a resurgent Lady GaGa at #2, Alicia Keys at #3 and Mary J. Blige at #4. The post-Christmas lull and a lack of new releases makes for a pretty uneventful chart, but that may change next week as newcomer Ke$ha challenges for the #1 spot.

Let’s re-direct our attention to the year-end charts. Swift and Boyle had the only albums to move over 3 million units in 2009. All told, 5 albums crossed the 2 million mark, 22 albums crossed the 1 million mark and 62 albums scanned over half a million copies, as though we needed any further proof that the industry is shrinking-nearly 100 albums crossed the Gold barrier as recently as 2005.

A few trends that jump out as I peruse the year-end totals:

*Country is one genre that is illegal-download and recession proof. 14 country albums sold over half a million copies this year, led by two Taylor Swift albums. In addition to “Fearless”, her self-titled debut was the 35th best-selling album of the year with 782,000 copies sold. Other major country successes included Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, the Zac Brown Band and the country-flavored “Hannah Montana” movie soundtrack, all of which were million-sellers.

*Hip-hop had a mixed bag of a year. Three rap albums land in the Top 10. The Black Eyed Peas had the year’s 7th biggest seller with “The E.N.D.”, followed by Eminem’s “Relapse” at #8 and Jay-Z’s “Blueprint 3” at #9. The only other rap album to sell more than half a million units this past year was T.I.’s “Paper Trail”, which pops in at #58 with 530,000 units scanned. You could also technically include Kanye West’s “808s and Heartbreak”, which scanned 597,000 units this year, although it’s not a rap album per se.

*If you’re an “American Idol” fan, now might be a good time to start buying music. Carrie Underwood’s “Play On” was the only album from an “Idol” alum to crash the million-sold barrier this year. She’s followed by Daughtry (#31, 882K) and Kelly Clarkson (#33, 813K). If you’re looking for other former “Idol”s, you have to go much lower on the chart, where you’ll find David Cook (#73), Underwood’s “Carnival Ride” (#74, Adam Lambert (#81), the first Daughtry album (#144), Underwood’s debut (#158), Jennifer Hudson (#166), Kris Allen (#183) and Kellie Pickler (#191).

*Good old dependable rock & roll? Not so much. The biggest-selling rock album of the year was Kings of Leon’s “Only by the Night”, which lands at #10, with 1.4 million copies sold. Nickelback’s “Dark Horse” trails right behind at #11. Along with the “Twilight” soundtrack (#13), they are the only rock albums in the Top 20.

*Then, of course, there’s Michael Jackson. “Number Ones” finished as the year’s third biggest-seller, with 2.4 million copies sold. It was followed by “This is It” (#12), “Thriller” (#14), and “The Essential Michael Jackson” (#20).

*As far as sales disappointments go, albums by these superstar artists failed to even hit the 400,000 copies sold mark: Mariah Carey, Colbie Caillat, Creed, Fabolous, Rob Thomas and 50 Cent, while albums by Rick Ross and Bon Jovi have stalled under the 500,000 mark.
Here are the year’s Top 40 sellers, according to Soundscan:

1) Taylor Swift “Fearless”
2) Susan Boyle “I Dreamed a Dream”
3) Michael Jackson “Number Ones”
4) Lady GaGa “The Fame”
5) Andrea Bocelli “My Christmas”
6) Soundtrack “Hannah Montana: The Movie”
7) The Black Eyed Peas “The E.N.D.”
8) Eminem “Relapse”
9) Jay-Z “Blueprint 3”
10) Kings of Leon “Only by the Night”
11) Nickelback “Dark Horse”
12) Michael Jackson “This is It”
13) Soundtrack “Twilight”
14) Michael Jackson “Thriller”
15) Zac Brown Band “Foundation”
16) Michael Buble “Crazy Love”
17) Miley Cyrus “Time of Our Lives EP”
18) Beyonce “I Am…Sasha Fierce”
19) Carrie Underwood “Play On”
20) Michael Jackson “The Essential Michael Jackson”
21) Rascal Flatts “Unstoppable”
22) U2 “No Line on the Horizon”
23) Dave Matthews Band “Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King”
24) Lady Antebellum “Lady Antebellum”
25) Soundtrack “Twilight: New Moon”
26) Jason Aldean “Wide Open”
27) Maxwell “BLACKsummersnight”
28) Whitney Houston “I Look to You”
29) Green Day “21st Century Breakdown”
30) Darius Rucker “Learn to Live”
31) Daughtry “Leave This Town”
32) Various “Now That’s What I Call Music 32”
33) Kelly Clarkson “All I Ever Wanted”
34) P!nk “Funhouse”
35) Taylor Swift “Taylor Swift”
36) The Fray “The Fray”
37) Alicia Keys “The Element of Freedom”
38) Various “Now That’s What I Call Music 30”
39) Justin Bieber “My World”
40) Keith Urban “Defying Gravity”