Taylor breaks a million for the fourth time

Three years ago this month, we reminded everybody that Selling a Million Albums in a Week is a Big Deal after Taylor Swift released 1989 and sold 1.287 million. At that time only 18 other albums had hit that mark since Soundscan began tracking sales in 1991.

Before Swift’s new album, Reputation, sold 1.216 million last week, only one more album had sold more than a million: Adele’s 25. And 25 crushed all sales records, selling 3.378 million copies in its debut week, 1.112 million in its second week, and 1.157 million in its fifth (Christmas). Which was historically bonkers. Since then, nobody’s come close and nobody probably ever will.

But 1.216 million is still a lot of albums. And those are sales. In just the United States. 709,000 digital albums and 507,000 CDs (no vinyl yet). As Billboard points out, that’s the “10th-largest sales week for any album since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales.” In fact, it sold 1.05 million copies in the first four days. That is a dedicated fanbase.

If you factor in streaming and track downloads, it moved 1.238 million equivalent album units (not much more because she’s holding it off streaming services for now).

I haven’t heard the whole album yet because I’m cheap and patient. With 1989, I took advantage of the Microsoft Music Deals app, which was selling the download for 99 cents. No such luck this time around. I still love 1989 and I cut Swift a lot of slack even when she’s acting like a victimy turd. I think she’s a fascinating person who deserves a lot of respect.

I recently re-read Chuck Klosterman’s 2015 GQ profile because it’s included in his new book and it reminded me how crappy it is to constantly question somebody’s sincerity and authenticity. You don’t have to love her or dig her music, but you have to give her credit.

In a decade when people stopped buying albums, she still inspires her legion of fans to get out there and shell out their cash. Starting with Speak Now in 2010, every album she has released has opened with a million in sales. The fact that she’s nurtured those fans and made up for any that she’s lost proves she’s made a connection with listeners that can’t be explained away as merely calculated business savvy. She’s actually good.

Video: Taylor Swift – “…Ready For It?”

From Reputation, out now on Big Machine.

Taylor Swift: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Photo via Instagram.

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All 21 albums that have sold over a million copies in a week (chronologically by release date)

  1. Whitney Houston – The Bodyguard Soundtrack: 1,061,000 (1/9/93)

  2. Garth Brooks – Double Live: 1,085,000 (12/5/98)

  3. Backstreet Boys – Millennium: 1,134,000 (6/5/99)

  4. ‘N Sync – No Strings Attached: 2,416,000 (4/8/00)

  5. Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did It Again: 1,319,000 (6/3/00)

  6. Eminem – The Marshal Mathers LP: 1,760,000 (6/10/00)

  7. Limp Bizkit – Chocolate Starfish & the Hot Dog Flavored Water: 1,055,000 (11/4/00)

  8. Backstreet Boys – Black & Blue: 1,591,000 (12/9/00)

  9. The Beatles – 1: 1,259,000 (1/6/01)

  10. ‘N Sync – Celebrity: 1,880,000 (8/11/01)

  11. Eminem – The Eminem Show: 1,322,000 (6/15/02)

  12. Norah Jones – Feels Like Home: 1,022,000 (2/28/04)

  13. Usher – Confessions: 1,096,000 (4/10/04)

  14. 50 Cent – The Massacre: 1,141,000 (3/19/05)

  15. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III: 1,006,000 (6/28/08)

  16. Taylor Swift – Speak Now: 1,047,000 (11/13/10)

  17. Lady Gaga – Born This Way: 1,108,000 (5/29/11)

  18. Taylor Swift – Red: 1,208,000 (10/28/12)

  19. Taylor Swift – 1989: 1,287,000 (11/2/14)

  20. Adele – 25: 3.378 million (11/26/15), 1.11 million (12/03/15), 1.15 million (12/24/15).

  21. Taylor Swift – Reputation: 1.216 million (11/16/17)

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Update: Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Album Spends Second Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart with 256,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Nov. 23, of which 232,000 were in traditional album sales.

Update #2: Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Spends Third Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart with 147,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Nov. 30, of which 131,000 were in traditional album sales.

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