Taylor Swift Soars To No. 1 Debut
With the best sales week for a country album in a year, 18-year-old Taylor Swift debuts at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums with her sophomore set, "Fearless." The Big Machine releaseWith the best sales week for a country album in a year, 18-year-old Taylor Swift debuts at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums with her sophomore set, "Fearless." The Big Machine release sold 592,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the largest sum for a country album since Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" started with 711,000 last November.
"Fearless" shifted 129,000 copies digitally, the fourth biggest week for a digital album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking them in 2004.
Meanwhile, six songs from "Fearless" will debut on tomorrow’s Billboard Hot 100, led by "White Horse" at No. 13. "Horse" is her sixth top 20 debut of 2008, a calendar year record for any artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. In addition, her six debuts and seven total tracks on tomorrow chart each tie her with Hannah Montana for the most by a female artist in a single week. Of the 13 tracks on "Fearless," 11 have now spent time on the Hot 100.
The next three slots on The Billboard 200 are debuts, with "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta starting at No. 2 with his self-titled 19 Recordings/Jive album on sales of 183,000. The 29th edition of the multi-label "Now That's What I Call Music!" series begins at No. 3 with 172,000, while T-Pain's "Thr33 Ringz" (Kovinct/Nappy Boy/Jive) opens at No. 4 with 167,000.
Last week's No. 1 album, the Chop Shop/Atlantic soundtrack from "Twilight," drops to No. 5 on a 35% decrease to 107,000. AC/DC's "Black Ice" slips 2-6 on a 34% decline to 105,000, while Walt Disney's "High School Musical 3" soundtrack is down 3-7 on a 14% dip to 94,000.
Enya's first holiday album, "And Winter Came" (Reprise) debuts at No. 8 with 92,000. The project is expected to be a strong seller through the end of the year, potentially in the vein of Josh Groban's runaway hit album from last year, "Noel."
Christina Aguilera's hits package, "Keeps Gettin' Better," is new at No. 9 with 73,000. The album was exclusively available at Target. Rounding out the top tier is T.I.'s "Paper Trail" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic), which falls 7-10 on a 10% decline to 62,000.
Seal's R&B covers album, "Soul" (Warner Bros.), debuts at No. 13 this week with 45,000. That's an improvement over his dance-driven 2007 album "System," which crept in at No. 35 with 30,000. Further down the chart, a best-of "Now That's What I Call Music" album lands No. 32 with 22,000) and producer David Foster's all-star live set "Hit Man" (Warner Bros.) debuts at No. 46 with 15,000.
Album sales this week are up 26.8% from last week with 8.9 million units, but down 24% from the same week last year (11.72 million).
Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield.