Swift’s album has a ‘Red’ hot debut: 1.2 million sold

Nielsen SoundScan confirmed the blockbuster sales on Tuesday night. “Red” marks Swift’s second straight album to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week; “Speak Now,” her third album, sold a little over 1 million copies when it was released in 2010. She is the only woman to have two albums sell more than 1 million copies in its first week.

“They just told me Red sold 1.2 million albums first week. How is this real life?! You are UNREAL. I love you so much. Thanks a million ;),” Swift tweeted Tuesday night.

The only other act to sell more than 1 million copies of an album in its debut week twice was ’N Sync.

Swift isn’t a boy band, but she’s certainly got the appeal of one: The country crossover has a huge following, particularly among teens who have followed her since she was a teen herself, releasing her first album. But she’s also a critic’s darling: The Grammy-winner’s “Red” garnered plenty of acclaim when it was released last week.

Swift was omnipresent in the week of the album’s release, appearing on such shows as “Good Morning America” and “Katie.” She also joined with two untraditional partners — Papa John’s and Walgreens, which offered the album for sale. And she announced her upcoming tour.

The last album to sell more than 1 million copies in its debut week was Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which sold 1.1 million copies last year. However, that album was deeply discounted on Amazon.com in its first week.

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