Taylor Swift, Big Machine Records
Billboard reports, "It's official: Taylor Swift's RED sold a whopping 1.208 million copies last week in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan," scoring music's highest weekly sales number in more than a decade (since 2002's THE EMINEM SHOW), and earning Taylor a new page in the history books as the only female artist (and the fourth artist ever) to hit the 1 million first-week figure twice since SoundScan began tracking actual sales in 1991.
RED notched the 8th largest first-week debut in SoundScan chart history and the 2nd biggest week ever for a female artist.
RED, released on Big Machine Records, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (Taylor's second consecutive million-plus album selling debut and third chart-topping album), and this week sold more than the rest of the albums in the Top 50 – combined.
RED is only the 18th album in history to sell a million units in a single week; Taylor's SPEAK NOW album is another one of the 18, with a 2010 debut of more than 1.04 million copies.
RED accounted for 19.3% of total albums sold this week -- one out of nearly every 5 CDs or downloads sold this week was Taylor's RED album.
With RED, Taylor set a new worldwide iTunes record for highest ever first-week album sales, with 565,545 copies sold digitally around the globe. RED reached #1 on the iTunes sales charts in 42 countries, and reached #1 on the national sales charts in the UK, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Ireland, Argentina, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia, among others.
RED also breaks iTunes's first-week U.S. sales record, with more than 464,000 albums sold. At Target, RED set the retailer's new one-week sales record with more than 396,000 CD sold -- Taylor's SPEAK NOW album previously held their record.
RED also enters Billboard's Top Country Albums chart at #1, and now owns the best one week sales total for any Country release in SoundScan history, surpassing the 1.08 million copies sold of Garth Brooks' DOUBLE LIVE in 1998. Taylor now has two of the three biggest one week sales totals for any Country album in the SoundScan era.
Critical acclaim for RED matches the disc's sales and chart success, with continuing rave reviews from leading critics around the globe. "She's a lethally smart songwriter and there's this universality that speaks not just to young women, but everyone who wants to find love and has felt heartbreak," Bill Werde, editorial director of Billboard, told Reuters yesterday.