If you haven't figured it out by now--this week is all about Taylor Swift and her new release, Speak Now. The singer has, quite simply, eclipsed superstardom and is poised at megastardom. Here's the latest bit of information to support her developing success at music-world domination.
Industry publication Billboard is forecasting first-week sales of 800-900,000 for Speak Now, and is speculating the album may even hit 1 million.
Okay. Because numbers and sales and all of that can sometimes be a bit abstract to consider, let's put these figures into a bit of perspective. If Swift does hit the lower end of 800k, it means she'll easily skip past 2010's current record for first-week sales--nothing less than multiplatinum rapper Eminem's Recovery, which debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 with 741,000 copies sold back in June.
For further perspective, her sophomore album, Fearless, sold 592,000 in its first week. Billboard's conservative forecast for Speak Now puts sales at an astonishing 200-300K more than this.
If Swift does hit the 1 million mark, it will make Speak Now the first album to sell 1 million copies in one week since Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III, which debuted with 1,006,000 sold in 2008.
While country is generally a genre that does well in terms of sales and charts, a further bit of perspective on Swift's magnitude might be gleaned by looking at a few country albums that recently debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Sugarland just landed there this week with The Incredible Machine, selling just over 200k. Kenny Chesney's Hemingway's Whiskey bowed with sales of 183k, whereas Toby Keith's Bullets In The Gun had only 71k the following week. Even Lady Antebellum, which debuted in January with sales of nearly half a million, is far behind Swift's anticipated numbers.
Things are looking so bright for Swift, in fact, that Billboard actually has raised its forecast from one month ago, when it projected Speak Now would sell about 750,000.
Swift is boarding a plane today bound for Los Angeles from New York, where she'll perform in the air for a group of lucky fans. My guess is she's already flying higher than any plane could possibly take her.
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