Spoiler alert: Beyoncé has the #1 album in the country.
That's not exactly a surprise, given the copious coverage and frenzied sales projections her self-titled album has generated since being released out of nowhere at midnight on Thursday. But the number of copies she managed to sell — more than 617,000 — in such a short amount of time (Nielsen SoundScan's sales week concluded on Sunday, December 15, giving Bey just three full days to rack up sales), well, that was definitely shocking.
All Hail The Queen
Beyoncé's first-week numbers were not only the best of any female artist in 2013, easily outpacing Katy Perry's Prism, but they give her the fourth biggest debut of the year, trailing only Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and Drake's Nothing Was The Same. And again, she did it in just three days.
It's also her fifth-consecutive #1 debut, making her the first female artist to have her first five albums bow atop the Billboard charts. She's also the third artist to ever accomplish that feat, along with DMX (!) and the Kingston Trio. The 617,000 copies Beyoncé sold are also the most she's ever sold in a single week, eclipsing the 541,000 she sold when B'Day premiered in 2006.
And there's a pretty good chance she'll remain at #1 next week too, as Beyoncé will finally have a full week of sales to count.
Everyone Else Bowed Down ... Especially Britney
With Beyoncé a mortal lock for the top of the Billboard albums chart, the race was on for #2, and in the end, it went to Garth Brooks' Blame It All On My Roots, which sold more than 171,000 copies in its third week of release. Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red follows at #3, selling more than 136,000 copies, and R.Kelly's Black Panties is in at #4, selling almost 134,000 copies in its debut week. One Direction's Midnight Memories rounds out the top five, with sales of more than 123,000 copies.
Childish Gambino's Because The Internet debuted at #7 with sales of 96,000 copies, and albums like Prism and Lorde's Pure Heroine saw sizeable sales bumps. Of course, it wasn't all good news on the charts: one week after her Britney Jean album opened with a career-worst debut, Britney Spears watched as the record tumbled all the way to #22, with sales decreasing 73 percent.
Xtina Tops The iTunes Chart
It's a good week to be Christina Aguilera, as "Say Something," her collaboration with A Great Big World, benefitted from a prime "Voice" bounce to take the #1 spot on iTunes songs chart. She overtook last week's chart champ, Pitbull and Ke$ha's "Timber," which falls to #2, ahead of Eminem and Rihanna's "The Monster" and OneRepublic's "Counting Stars." Passenger's "Let Her Go" rounds out the top five.
Of course, given that it was an iTunes exclusive, it's not a shock that Beyoncé also sits at #1 on the iTunes albums chart, way ahead of Gambino's Internet and Kelly's Black Panties. Clarkson's Wrapped in Red is at #4 on the chart, ahead of the Zac Brown Band's The Grohl Sessions, Vol. 1 EP, which debuted at #5.