The final numbers are in, and Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” album enjoyed sales of historic proportions during its first week of release.
The album sold 1.047 million copies, Billboard reported. It’s an impressive number at any time, but particularly under the circumstances. Album sales are plummeting, and there were doubts in the music industry that anyone would ever sell a million in a week again. It’s only the 16th time it’s happened in history, and the last time was when rapper Lil Wayne hit seven digits with the first-week sales of Tha Carter III.
In fact, no one has moved as many albums as Taylor in a debut week since 50 Cent’s The Massacre hit 1.141 million in 2005. And the only country album that ever sold more than “Speak Now” was Garth Brooks’ Double Live, which saw 1.085 million units sold in 1998, when Taylor was eight years old.
Taylor did a massive PR campaign leading up to the album’s release, and it didn’t hurt that she was spotted repeatedly with actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the days before the album came out, setting off a flurry of gossip at the same time she was appearing on TV talk shows and magazine covers.
She’s now in her second week of release, and the publicity campaign hasn’t stopped. In fact, Tuesday night she performed “Mine” and “White Horse” on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.” And in spite of the fact that she’s done so much television, don’t think for a second she’s overcome all the fears that go along with public performances.
“Gaining courage to do anything in life is difficult,” she told Sirius XM Satellite Radio. “Sometimes you have to have conversations with yourself. I have a lot of talks with myself: ‘You got to do this. Step up, you got to do this. You can do this. It’s not a big deal. It’s just a TV camera, don’t be nervous. It’s OK.’ For me, it’s trying to be as comfortable with who you are and what you have to give to that stage. And realizing that you’re doing it because you love it.”
TV cameras are definitely in her future, too. She’s scheduled to sing on the 44th annual Country Music Association Awards Nov. 10. And she has her first network special, “Taylor Swift — Speak Now,” on Thanksgiving. Among the moments captured by the lens: a concert for fans on a cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles and a surprise performance atop a double-decker bus near the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Taylor Swift if GAC’s Artist of the Month for November, 2010! Watch an all-new collection of GAC interview clips and all of her music videos now »