Welcome to the one million club, Lady Gaga. As was announced today by album-sales tracker Nielsen SoundScan, the pop act’s latest album Born This Way, which was released just over a week ago, succeeded in selling a extremely healthy 1.11 million albums during its first full week at retailers. The feat is a rare one, indeed, as Born This Way is just the 17th album to reach the one-million-copies benchmark in a week since SoundScan began in 1991. The stellar sales are the highest since rapper 50 Cent’s
The Massacre sold 1.14 million copies in March 2005. More recently, siren Taylor Swift joined the elite one-million club when her latest album, Speak Now, sold 1.05 million records last November. The overall record remains held by ‘NSYNC, whose No Strings Attached sold a massive 2.42 million records during its debut week in 2000. Leading up to its release, there was much discussion about how many copies of Born This Way would sell. Early estimates were conservative — below even 500,000 — but the label began ratcheting up its guesstimates as the May 23 release date got closer and buzz for the album exploded. Of course, Amazon.com’s controversial (and intially botched) decision to sell the record for just 99 cents no doubt helped goose the numbers, as it’s estimated that the online retailer sold upwards of 440,000 of the album at the cheap price. Online purchases in general helped fuel Lady Gaga’s success, though: Digital sales totaled 662,000, a robust 60 percent of the album’s first week total. It is the biggest week for a digital album in SoundScan history.