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Taylor Swift sets records with ‘Red’

Taylor Swift performed on "Good Morning America" last week as part of her publicity rounds for "Red." Clearly, it worked. Photo: Getty Images

Taylor Swift performed on "Good Morning America" last week as part of her publicity rounds for "Red." Clearly, it worked. Photo: Getty Images

The Taylor Swift invasion continues.

The singer’s “Red” album, released last week, officially sold 1.208 million copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, more than any other album since Eminem’s “The Eminem Show” in 2002.

And, unlike the charts’ last massive seller, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” in May 2011 (1.108 million), Swift did it without any severely discounted prices (Amazon famously offered Gaga’s release for 99 cents on two days during its initial week out). “Red” was released on Monday, though, a day earlier than the usual release cycle.

Swift was also a ubiquitous presence in the past week, both personally, as she made numerous TV show appearances, and musically, as her CD was sold in unconventional locations including Walgreens and Papa John’s Pizza. Yes, Papa John’s Pizza.

The accomplishments of “Red,” which will, obviously, bow at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart this week, are many. According to Billboard, it’s only the 18th album to sell a million copies in a single week since 1991 and marks the second largest sales period for a female act. Ms. “X-Factor,” Britney Spears, still retains that top title from when her “Oops! … I Did It Again” sold 1.319 million copies in 2000.

“Red” also inflamed iTunes, which sold almost 465,000 copies of the album – also a record.

Swift will perform Thursday night on the CMA Awards, where she’s up for three, including Entertainer of the Year, which she’s won the past two years. She also announced the tour to support “Red” last week, including April 18-19 at Philips Arena, and her co-hosting stint of the Grammy Awards nomination concert/show on Dec. 5.

While Swift is becoming a polarizing presence as her popularity continues to swell, there is little doubt that “Red,” her unabashed embrace of the pop world, is a terrific piece of work. Filled with soaring choruses, easy-to-adore melodies and Swift’s love-‘em-or-hate-‘em diary entries of her romantic travails, it’s a portrait of a young artist in full bloom.

18 comments Add your comment

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Fred ™

October 31st, 2012
3:43 am

My daughter wants Red……..


October 31st, 2012
8:46 am

I just don’t get it – she simply cannot sing live. Her “voice” is manufactured in the studio


October 31st, 2012
9:37 am

Nothing says artistic integrity like your music being sold with a box of greasy pizza!

Good job America.


October 31st, 2012
9:42 am

Good for her.


October 31st, 2012
9:47 am

You may not like her songs, but claiming her voice is ‘manufactured’ is ridiculous. She sang live on a dozen programs in the past two weeks, no lip synch, just her. She has phenomenal instrumental skills, she is a truly gifted song writer/ music creator, and while her vocal melodies may not have the range of some, her voice is is a joy to hear.

She is also an incredibly smart business person. Selling her album with pizza is genius; her artistic integrity is confirmed by the fact that she sold a million albums in 7 days.

TS is young enough to be my granddaughter, and I only hope my 3 granddaughters (who love Taylor Swift) can emulate her values and work ethic.

Ted Olmandish III

October 31st, 2012
9:49 am

Atlanta loves you Tyler! Your music inspired me to buy a truck.


October 31st, 2012
9:50 am

Yikes, I get that she’s young, falls in love easily, blah blah blah. However she’s one good manager/pr person from a Britney Spears meltdown.


October 31st, 2012
9:52 am

at least she sets a good example for young girls as far as not being drugged or drunk..stealing things etc.. and she writes most of her lyrics..
but I agree…her voice IS manufactered and she is NOT NOT NOT country any more…
guess CMA’s need the ratings….whatever happened to good old Martina McBride? thank goodness for Miranda!!!


October 31st, 2012
10:02 am

She’s brilliant, with talent and wisdom that far exceed her years.


October 31st, 2012
10:34 am

Taylor Swift needs to really thank Kanye West. A lot of people didn’t know who this nasally sounding chick was until the infamous “Beyonce had the best video of all time” line at the VMA’s. Now she’s overkill and all over the place, and i wish she’d go away, lol.


October 31st, 2012
11:07 am

I just hate that stupid fake look she has every time the crowd applauds her. And yes Tiffani, I too wish that she would just go away.


October 31st, 2012
11:50 am

She can’t sing, she’s nasally, she has no artistic integrity, she’s has a ’stupid fake look…’

What else can you people come up with? This is a brilliant, talented, motivated, moral, ethical young woman who has set her own course, created a product that sells beyond belief, manages her life successfully, and in the process, entertained millions of people.

She sings with her heart. Maybe that’s not ‘artistic integrity,’ but it’s very real, and for millions of people, highly entertaining. She is a brilliant creator of words and music; she brings that music to life in a way that millions find entertaining.

What, pray tell, is wrong with that?

She is a shrewd businesswoman who enriches herself and others. What is wrong with that?

She is old enough to be my granddaughter, and I only hope that my own three granddaughters (who all adore Taylor Swift) turn out as well as their idol.

david c

October 31st, 2012
3:23 pm

“This is a brilliant, talented, motivated, moral, ethical young woman”
Let’s see. She is brilliant and talented enough to be motivated to write about her numerous (a)moral affairs and passes that off as ethical to other young women, who look up to her.
Yeah, that sums Ms. Swift up in a nutshell.


October 31st, 2012
3:26 pm

love Taylor so much!!! she is amazing…i really want red but my parents aren’t Taylor fans like me:(


November 1st, 2012
7:07 am

david c summed it up perfectly.

icon download

November 3rd, 2012
8:12 pm