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Taylor Swift’s Red could not have gotten off to a bigger start. Propelled by the success of singles like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and her large fan base, the new album sold an astonishing 1.208 million copies in its first week, earning the best sales week for Billboard since 2002.
Billboard notes that it is the most that a single album has sold in a week since Eminem’s 2002 album, The Eminem Show, sold 1.322 million copies in its first full week. Red is also Swift’s third No. 1 album.
Since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking album sales for Billboard, only 18 albums have sold a million copies in a week. NSYNC’s 2000 album No Strings Attached still holds the record for most copies sold in a week since 1991 with 2.416 million copies.
Britney Spears is also the only female artist since 1991 to sell more that Swift’s Red in a week. Spears’ Oops! . . . I Did It Again sold 1.319 million copies when it debuted in 2000.
According to Reuters, Swift does take the crown as the only female artist to sell a million copies of two different albums in their debut weeks. In 2010, Speak Now debuted with slightly over 1 million copies.
Finally, Red is the first album since Lady Gaga’s Born This Way to sell a million copies in a week.
Swift hasn’t even started promoting Red in full force, aside from the videos for the singles and appearances on daytime talk shows. She will start a tour with Ed Sheeran next year and will host the Grammy nominations special with LL Cool J in December.
The album was helped out by an unconventional Monday release on Oct. 22 and has been carried at some surprising locations, like Papa John’s Pizza.
image: Swift’s Facebook page