Chart Watch: Taylor Swift sells more than 1 million copies for the fourth time

Paul Grein
Writer

Taylor Swift just enhanced her “reputation” as the top-selling American recording artist. Swift’s sixth studio album, reputation, sold 1,216,000 copies in the U.S. (in traditional album sales) in its first week of release. Here are 13 fairly mind-boggling facts about Swift’s achievement.

1) This marks the fourth time that Swift has topped the million mark in first-week sales. No other artist has achieved that feat with more than two albums.

2) reputation sold nearly as many copies (in traditional album sales) as Swift’s previous album, 1989. That album started with sales of 1,287,000 in November 2014. (Overall album sales have been declining for years, so nearly equaling a feat from three years ago is an achievement.)

3) reputation’s first-week sales tally (in traditional album sales) is nearly equal to the first-week sales tallies of this year’s next four fastest-breaking albums combined. They are Pink’s Beautiful Trauma (384K), Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (353K), Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (322K), and Drake’s More Life (226K).

4) Swift’s showing is remarkable because she has been a recording star for more than a decade. (Her first album was released in October 2006.) Only one other artist with more than a decade under their belt has ever sold 1 million copies in a week. That was the Beatles, who achieved that milestone with their 2000 hits compilation 1.

5) After just one week, reputation is the year’s best-selling album. It pushes ahead of Ed Sheeran’s  ÷, which has sold 931K copies. (Sheeran is featured, along with Future, on “End Game,” the second track on reputation.)

6) This will be the third time that Swift has had the year’s best-selling album. Fearless was the best-selling album of 2009. 1989 was on top in 2014. Swift will be the first artist to have the year’s best-selling album three times with three different albums since Nielsen started tracking U.S. music sales in 1991. Adele, Eminem, and Justin Timberlake each had the year’s best-selling album with two different albums. (Timberlake’s tally counts an *NSYNC album.)

7) This will be the seventh time in the past nine years that either Swift or Adele has had the year’s top-selling album. Adele’s 21 was on top for both 2011 and 2012; her follow-up, 25, was the sales leader for both 2015 and 2016. The only other artists to have the year’s top album in this nine-year stretch are Eminem (Recovery, 2010) and Justin Timberlake (The 20/20 Experience, 2013).

8) reputation is Swift’s fifth consecutive studio album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Only three other female solo artists have achieved that feat. Beyoncé has reached No. 1 with all six of her solo studio albums. Madonna and Janet Jackson each hit No. 1 with five consecutive studio albums.

9) Two songs from reputation, “Look What You Made Me Do” and “…Ready for It?,” have already made the top 10 on the Hot 100. reputation is Swift’s fifth consecutive studio album to spin off two or more top 10 hits.

10) reputation moved 1,238,000 in its first week in “equivalent units,” which factors in digital track sales. (That tally also takes into account streaming, but Swift’s album wasn’t available for streaming.) Billboard‘s introduction of “equivalent units” occurred four weeks after 1989 debuted, so there is no “equivalent” figure for 1989’s debut week.

11) reputation‘s “equivalent units” tally is considerably more than the first-week totals by the year’s next two fastest-breaking albums combined. They are Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (603K) and Drake’s More Life (505K)

12) reputation is all but assured of remaining at No. 1 next week. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s The Rest of Our Life is on track to debut at No. 2. Thus, Swift will block McGraw’s path to landing a fifth No. 1 album. Ironically, Swift’s first single, in 2006, was titled “Tim McGraw.” Also, Swift and McGraw collaborated on the 2013 hit “Highway Don’t Care” (which also featured Keith Urban on guitar).

13) reputation also enters the official U.K. Albums Chart at No. 1. It’s Swift’s third consecutive studio album to top the U.K. chart.

Top Albums

Sam Smith’s The Thrill of It All dips from No. 1 to No. 2 in its second week.

Chris Brown’s 45-song Heartbreak on a Full Moon holds at No. 3 for the third straight week.

Post Malone’s Stoney rebounds from No. 9 to No. 4 in its 49th week. This equals its highest ranking to date.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ rebounds from No. 10 to No. 5 in its 37th week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1.

Without Warning, a collaboration by 21 Savage, Offset, and Metro Boomin, dips from No. 5 to No. 6 in its third week. The album peaked at No. 4.

Maroon 5’s Red Blue Pills drops from No. 2 to No. 7 in its second week.

Evanescence’s Synthesis debuts at No. 8. All four of the group’s studio albums have made the top 10, though the three before this all reached the top three.

Kenny Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation drops from No. 6 to No. 9 in its third week. The album debuted at No. 1. The album regains the No. 1 spot on Top Country Albums, displacing Blake Shelton’s Texoma Shore.

Blake Shelton’s Texoma Shore drops from No. 4 to No. 10 in its second week.

Two albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Kelsea Ballerini’s Unapologetically drops from No. 7 to No. 50. Kid Rock’s Sweet Southern Sugar drops from No. 8 to No. 43.

Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas rebounds from No. 34 to No. 17 in its 16th chart week. The album spent two weeks at No. 1 in its first holiday season. The album holds at No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums for the second week. Pentatonix’previous holiday album, That’s Christmas to Me, topped the catalog chart for a total of 15 weeks in 2015-16. An earlier EP, PTXmas, topped the catalog chart for one week in 2013.

Metallica’s 1986 album Master of Puppets reenters the chart at No. 46, thanks to the release of a deluxe edition.

The Moana soundtrack holds at No. 48 in its 52nd week. The album peaked at No. 2.  It’s No. 1 on Top Soundtracks for the 30th week.

Coming Attractions:  Look for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s The Rest of Our Life to debut at No. 2 next week. Also due: Fed Baby’s, a collaboration by Moneybagg Yo and YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Chase Rice’s Lambs & Lions, Tove Lo’s Blue Lips, and Sia’s Everyday Is Christmas.

Top Songs

Post Malone’s “Rockstar” (featuring 21 Savage) logs its sixth week at No. 1. The song has spent each of its first nine weeks at No. 1 or No. 2. “Rockstar” logs its sixth week at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (featuring Young Thug) holds at No. 2 for the third week in its 14th week on the chart. The song sold 75K digital copies this week, which enables it to move up to No. 1 on Top Digital Songs, displacing Taylor Swift’s “Call It What You Want.” “Havana” logs its third week at No. 1 on The Official U.K. Singles Chart.

Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” vaults from No. 12 to No. 3 in its 10th week. This is its highest ranking to date.

Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” inches up from No. 5 to No. 4 in its 29th week. This is the highest ranking of the group’s previous single, “Believer.” “Thunder” logs its third week at No. 1 on Top Rock Songs.

Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” drops from No. 3 to No. 5 in its 20th week. The song logged three weeks at No. 1.

Sam Smith’s “Too Good at Goodbyes” drops from its No. 4 peak to No. 6 in its 10th week.

Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” jumps from No. 8 to No. 7 in its 12th week.

Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” (featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid) drops from No. 6 to No. 8 in its 29th week. The song peaked at No. 3.

Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still” drops from No. 7 to No. 9 in its 22nd week. The song peaked at No. 4.

J Balvin & Willy William’s “Mi Gente” (featuring Beyoncé) holds at No. 10 in its 20th week. Six weeks ago, it tied Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” as Beyoncé’s highest-charting featured credit. “Telephone” reached No. 3 in April 2010.

Maroon 5’s “What Lovers Do” (featuring SZA) drops out of the top 10 this week.

Eminem’s “Walk on Water” (featuring Beyoncé) is this week’s top new entry at No. 14. The song is the lead single from Eminem’s eighth major-label studio album, Revival. The first singles from Eminem’s last six studio albums have made the top 10. “Walk on Water” is the 57th Hot 100 hit for both Eminem and Beyoncé. The two stars have something else in common. Both have received three Grammy noms for Album of the Year. Neither has ever won in that category.