Taylor Swift monopolizes the top two positions on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated Dec. 26), with her surprise release Evermore, as well as her previous effort Folklore, respectively. It’s the first time a woman has held the Nos. 1 and 2 spots at the same time, dating to the chart’s launch on May 25, 1991.
Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The Album Sales chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Pure album sales were the measurement solely utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Evermore debuts at No. 1 on Top Album Sales with 155,000 copies sold in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 17, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It’s Swift’s eighth leader on the tally. Evermore is the companion set to her earlier surprise release, Folklore, which bowed atop the Aug. 8-dated Top Album Sales chart.
Folklore surges 11-2 on the latest chart after sale pricing and promotion in Swift’s webstore. It sold 106,000 copies in the tracking week (up 742%). On the Billboard 200, the albums stand at Nos. 1 and 3.
Swift is the first act since 2016 to have two albums sell at least 100,000 copies each in the same week. The last to do so was Prince, following his death, on the May 14, 2016-dated chart, with The Very Best of Prince sold 216,000 and the Purple Rain soundtrack sold 133,000. The last living act, and woman, to manage the feat was Lady Gaga, on the Jan. 9, 2010-dated list, when The Fame sold 169,000 and The Fame Monster (EP) sold 115,000.
Evermore was released on Dec. 11 via Republic Records with little warning, and was only available as a standard digital download album (across traditional digital retailers like iTunes, as well as Swift’s own official webstore) and a standard streaming album. Its CD edition did not arrive in stores until Friday, Dec. 18 (so expect sturdy sales in the album’s second week). Cassette and vinyl LP configurations are due in 2021.
Carrie Underwood’s holiday album My Gift dips 2-3 on the new Top Album Sales chart with 26,000 sold (down 22%), while Harry Styles’ Fine Line jumps 9-4 with 25,000 (up 77%). The latter benefits from a bevy of vinyl album sales, as its vinyl LP comprises 22,000 of its sales for the week (up 89%).
Dolly Parton’s A Holly Dolly Christmas falls 3-5 with 24,000 sold (down 11%).
Sturgill Simpson’s Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 1: The Butcher Shoppe Sessions hits a new high on the list, and logs its best sales week, as it re-enters the chart at No. 6 with 23,000 sold (up 2,761%). The album bowed at No. 7 on the Oct. 31-dated chart with 10,000 sold. The set’s huge sales increase in the latest week was caused by its Dec. 11 release on CD and vinyl LP. It was previously only available to purchase as a digital download.
AC/DC’s Power Up falls 5-7 on Top Album Sales with 18,000 sold (up 1%), Chris Stapleton’s Starting Over is steady at No. 8 with 17,000 sold (up 4%) and BTS’ Be falls 7-9 with 16,000 copies sold (down 3%). Kid Cudi’s new Man on the Moon III: The Chosen closes out the top 10, as it bows at No. 10 with 15,000 sold.