By now, you’re probably aware that Lady Gaga’s Born This Way is the #1 album in the country, selling an impressive 1,108,000 copies in its first week of release. You’re probably also aware that her first-week tally is the highest in more than six years, since 50 Cent’s The Massacre moved more than 1,140,000 copies back in March 2005.
But what you might not be aware of is just where Born This Way‘s big debut ranks among the all-time greats. According to Billboard, since the debut of the SoundScan era in 1991, only 17 albums have sold more than 1 million copies in a week … and Born This Way‘s bow lands on the very edge of the top 10.
Ahead of BTW on the list are a myriad of albums from early-2000s teen-pop sensations, including two released from ‘NSYNC — No Strings Attached, which holds the record for the biggest one-week sales number in SoundScan history (it sold a whopping 2.4 million copies in 2000), and the follow-up, 2001′s Celebrity, which sold 1.89 million in a week — the Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue and Millennium, and Britney Spears’ Oops! … I Did It Again.
Eminem also placed a pair of albums in the all-time top 10 — 2000′s The Marshall Mathers LP and 2002′s The Eminem Show — and 50 Cent and the Beatles are represented too. In fact, the top 10 is dominated by male artists: Only Spears (and now Gaga) have made the cut. And of the 17 albums to break the million mark in the SoundScan era, only five are by female artists, including Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” Soundtrack, Norah Jones’ Feels Like Home and Taylor Swift’s Speak Now also accomplished the feat.
So while Born This Way‘s debut is certainly massive, it’s by no means the most massive … Here’s a look at the list of albums that have sold more than 1 million copies in a week, with sales data courtesy of Nielsen SoundScan. (And yes, Limp Bizkit is on the list.)
» ‘NSYNC, No Strings Attached, 2000: 2,416,000
» ‘NSYNC, Celebrity, 2001: 1,880,000
» Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP, 2000: 1,760,000
» Backstreet Boys, Black & Blue, 2000: 1,591,000
» Eminem, The Eminem Show, 2002: 1,322,000
» Britney Spears, Oops! … I Did It Again, 2000: 1,319,000
» The Beatles, 1, 2001: 1,259,000
» 50 Cent, The Massacre, 2005: 1,141,000
» Backstreet Boys, Millennium, 1999: 1,134,000 million
» Lady Gaga, Born This Way, 2011: 1,108,000
» Usher, Confessions, 2004: 1,096,000
» Garth Brooks, Double Live, 1998: 1,085,000 million
» Whitney Houston, “The Bodyguard’ Soundtrack,” 1993: 1,061,000
» Limp Bizkit, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, 2000: 1,055,000
» Taylor Swift, Speak Now, 2010: 1,047,000
» Norah Jones, Feels Like Home, 2004: 1,022,000
» Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III, 2008: 1,006,000