Evidently somebody forgot to tell Taylor Swift fans that albums just don’t sell anymore.Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, is on track to top the 4 million mark in U.S. sales in this, its 12th week of release. It’ll be the first album to reach 4M in just 12 weeks since Usher’s 2004 blockbuster Confessions.
Swift’s achievement is more impressive than Usher’s because album sales overall were much stronger in 2004 than they are nowadays. Seventy albums sold 1 million or more copies in 2004, compared to just four in 2014. (Sadly, that’s not a typo.)
Each of Swift’s four previous studio albums has also reached 4M.Swift will become just the second artist to top 4M with each of his or her first five studio albums since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. The first was Garth Brooks. (Brooks’s first two studio albums were released before the start of the Nielsen SoundScan era, but they have each sold more than 4M copies since the meters were turned on in January 1991.)
1989 sold 3,944,000 copies in the U.S. in its first 11 weeks. It is expected to sell in the 80K range this week, which will bump it up to about 4,024,000.
Swift’s previous studio albums all took much longer to reach 4M in U.S. sales. Her debut album, Taylor Swift, took 125 weeks to reach the plateau. Her sophomore album, Fearless, took 50 weeks. Her third and fourth albums, Speak Now and Red, each took 69 weeks.
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