Taylor Swift's 'Never' Roars Toward Record Sales Debut, Onto Airplay Charts

Taylor Swift's 'Red' Sells 1.21 Million; Biggest Sales Week for an Album Since 2002

Taylor Swift's 'Red' Sells 1.21 Million; Biggest Sales Week for an Album Since 2002

'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' could rewrite sales history, while also starting on a host of Billboard radio charts.

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," the first single from Taylor Swift's fourth studio album "Red," due Oct. 22, appears headed for digital sales history. It, meanwhile, blasts onto multiple Billboard airplay charts following its first week of availability.

According to updated industry sources, the track, released late Monday, Aug. 13, will have moved more than 600,000 downloads by the end of the Nielsen SoundScan tracking week yesterday (Aug. 19). Considering that its opening-week sales projection has grown to at least 600,000, "Never" will likely earn the largest week ever for a song by a female artist - and the second-biggest week ever.

The largest week among all titles belongs to Flo Rida's "Right Round," which debuted with 636,000 the week of Feb. 28, 2009. The second-biggest week - and the largest currently by a woman - is held by Ke$ha's "TiK ToK," with 610,000 on Jan. 9, 2010 (reflecting the busy post-Christmas week of 2009).

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With "Never" on course to blow past the 600,000 mark, it will also easily break the record for the largest debut by a woman. Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" currently holds the feat among female acts, having launched at No. 1 on Billboard's Digital Songs chart with 448,000, the week of Feb. 26, 2011.

Here is a look at the 10 top overall digital sales weeks, since SoundScan began tracking digital sales:

636,000, "Right Round," Flo Rida, Feb. 28, 2009
610,000, "TiK ToK," Ke$ha, Jan. 9, 2010
559,000, "Grenade," Bruno Mars, Jan. 8, 2011
542,000, "Somebody That I Used To Know," Gotye featuring Kimbra, April 28, 2012
521,000, "Boyfriend," Justin Bieber, April 14, 2012
509,000, "Born This Way," Lady Gaga, March 5, 2011
509,000, "Firework," Katy Perry, Jan. 8, 2011
493,000, "Payphone," Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, May 5, 2012
467,000, "Low," Flo Rida, Jan. 12, 2008
464,000, "Boom Boom Pow," the Black Eyed Peas, April 18, 2009

.. . and the 10 top debut digital sales weeks, according to SoundScan:

636,000, "Right Round," Flo Rida, Feb. 28, 2009
521,000, "Boyfriend," Justin Bieber, April 14, 2012
493,000, "Payphone," Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa, May 5, 2012
464,000, "Boom Boom Pow," the Black Eyed Peas, April 18, 2009
448,000, "Born This Way," Lady Gaga, Feb 26, 2011
418,000, "Crack a Bottle," Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent, Feb. 21, 2009
411,000, "Part of Me," Katy Perry, March 3, 2012
411,000, "Hold It Against Me," Britney Spears, Jan 29, 2011
379,000, "Not Afraid," Eminem, May 22, 2010
338,000, "Love the Way You Lie," Eminem featuring Rihanna, July 10, 2010


On charts released this morning, "Never" roars onto multiple Nielsen BDS-based Billboard radio airplay charts.

The song, which Swift wrote with pop hitmakers Max Martin and Shellback launches on Country Songs at No. 13, Adult Contemporary (No. 16), Pop Songs (No. 18) and Adult Pop Songs (No. 21).

Big Machine and Universal Republic Records teamed with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment to help premiere "Never," as several of the chain's country, pop and adult stations gave it top-of-the-hour airplay upon its release late Monday (Aug. 13) through the following night (Aug. 14).

Track Review: 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

On Country Songs, the bow of "Never" ties as the second-best since BDS data began powering the chart in 1990 and is the best among women in that span. In April, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw's "Feel Like a Rock Star" (also aided by promotional Clear Channel airplay) likewise debuted at No. 13; Garth Brooks' "More Than a Memory" blasted in at No. 1 the week of Sept. 15, 2007.

On Pop Songs, "Never" starts with the fifth-best opening rank since the chart began the week of Oct. 3, 1992. The format's four higher arrivals also belong to women: Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover" (No. 12, 1993), Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (No. 14, 2011), Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" (No. 16, 2011); and Madonna's "Frozen" (No. 16, 1998).

Only one song by a female artist has started higher than "Never" on Adult Pop Songs: Alanis Morissette's "Thank U" (No. 13, 1998). On Adult Contemporary, "Never" makes the best entrance for a non-holiday song by a woman since fellow pop/country crossover star Faith Hill's "There You'll Be" began at No. 15 the week of June 2, 2001.


After entering the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 72 last week, "Never" could rocket to No. 1 this week following its first sales frame and first full week of airplay. With its projected digital sales of 600,000 or more, and building airplay ("Never" bowed at No. 25 on Radio Songs last week with 40 million in audience, according to BDS, after less than two full days of airplay), the song should soar to the Hot 100's top five, at least.

Check Billboard's websites by Wednesday (Aug. 22) for the track's first-week sales sum, according to SoundScan, its Radio Songs audience figure and its expected lofty Hot 100 rank.