Taylor Swift's first-week tally: 1,047,000 for 'Speak Now'
Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" album is officially the fastest-selling album in half a decade, logging 1,047,000 copies during its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That will handily let it debut at No. 1 on the national sales chart, which formally will be announced Wednesday.
The 20-year-old country-pop singer and songwriter bested rapper Lil Wayne, the last act to surpass the seven-figure mark in a debut week. His "Tha Carter III" sold 1,006,000 copies in June 2008. Swift posted the best initial-week figure since rapper 50 Cent sold 1,141,000 copies of his album "The Massacre" in March 2005.
In some respects, Swift's numbers may be more impressive than 50 Cent's, in that overall album sales have been dropping in double-figure percentages nearly every year since 2005. Swift's album also registered the second-highest single-week sales of any country album since SoundScan began tracking retail sales in 1991, according to Billboard. It's second only to Garth Brooks' "Double Live" album, which sold 1,085,000 in 1998.
And "Speak Now" tallied the biggest opening week for a female artist in more than a decade, since Britney Spears' "Oops! I Did It Again" sold 1,319,000 in 2000, Billboard noted. Swift's third album almost doubled the first-week sales of her previous effort, "Fearless," which sold 592,000 copies in November 2008.
The first-week sales record still belongs to boy band *NSYNC's "No Strings Attached," which sold 2.4 million copies, also in 2000.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Taylor Swift backstage at Club Nokia. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times