Backstage at the finale of MTV's "TRL" Sunday night, country crossover star [artist id="2389485"]Taylor Swift[/artist] seemed to have a pretty good idea of how well her sophomore LP, Fearless, was selling — but she coyly refused to provide MTV News with the early numbers.
"I'm very excited that my album's out this week, and I'm freaking out when they're giving me the daily numbers on its first-week sales," Swift said. "They're giving me really good numbers, and I don't want to jinx anything until the week is over. But it's been unbelievable."
Unbelievable is an understatement. The first-week sales for her latest album were released on Wednesday morning (November 19), and they're staggering. Swift sold more than 592,300 copies of Fearless last week, giving her more than enough for her first #1 debut. The singer's 2006 eponymous effort entered the chart at #19, selling just 39,000 copies.
Not only is Fearless the best country debut in over a year, it also managed to outperform the self-titled release from "American Idol" runner-up [artist id="3080429"]David Archuleta[/artist]. His record, according to the latest Nielsen SoundScan data, opens at #2 on next week's chart, with sales clocked at just over 182,900.
Swift's and Archuleta's studio sets were among 29 new releases impacting next week's chart, with six debuting in the chart's top 10. Entering at #3 with 172,300-plus scans, is the 29th installment in the Now That's What I Call Music! compilation series, which features singles from Katy Perry, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, T.I., the Pussycat Dolls and more. Further down the chart, bowing at #32 with 21,600 sold, is The Best of Now That's What I Call Music! 10th Anniversary, a special-edition compilation boasting tracks by Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, Nickelback and more.
T-Pain's Thr33 Ringz debuts at #4, with week-one sales of 167,500, while Enya's Winter Came opens at #8 with 92,400 sold. Lastly, entering the chart at #9 with 72,900 scanned, is Christina Aguilera's Keeps Gettin' Better — A Decade of Hits, which is available only at Target.
The rest of the top 10 is rounded out by the "Twilight" soundtrack at #5 (which sold 106,500 copies during its second week in stores), AC/DC's Black Ice at #6 (selling another 105,100 units), the "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" soundtrack at #7 (with 94,300 scans) and T.I.'s Paper Trail at #10 (with 62,000 sold).
Elsewhere on the chart, Seal's Soul makes its debut at #13, after selling 44,800 copies. Hang the DJ: The Very Best of the Smiths enters at #98, on the strength of 6,700 scans, and Aretha Franklin returns to the chart at #103, selling 6,500 copies of her album This Christmas. Dir En Grey's Uroboros opens at #114, selling 6,100 copies. The Faceless' Planetary Duality follows at #119 with 5,600 scans. The Best of Hilary Duff sold 5,500 copies during its first week in stores, earning the disc slot #125, while Gavin DeGraw's iTunes exclusive Live From SoHo enters at #167 with more than 4,200 downloads. Rap outfit Jedi Mind Tricks enter the chart at #169, selling nearly 4,200 copies of their latest, History of Violence. Butch Walker's Sycamore Meadows comes in at #173 with 4,000 sold. Attack Attack!'s Someday Came Suddenly just makes the cut at #193, with sales reported at 3,600 and change.