Must See: The 25 Biggest First Week-Sales In Music History

Published: Tuesday 16th Apr 2013 by David

 Justin Timberlake reigns supreme on the Official Top 25 Biggest First Week-Sales In Music History tally-made up of the highest selling US debut numbers generated since the dawn of chart history.

Of course, while some of these sales came with the aid of discounted prices, they will give many a fan cause to celebrate today…considering the current state of industry sales.

Did your ‘fave’ make the cut?

Find out below…

25. Kanye West, Late Registration: 860,000
24. 50 Cent, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’: 872,000
23. Shania Twain, Up!: 874,000
22. The Beatles, Anthology 1: 885,000
21. Creed, Weathered: 887,000
20. Garth Brooks, Sevens: 897,000
19. Pearl Jam, Vs.: 950,000
18. Kanye West, Graduation: 957,000
17. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter IV: 964,000
16. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience: 968,000
15. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III: 1,006,000
14. Norah Jones, Feels Like Home: 1,022,000
13. Taylor Swift, Speak Now: 1,047,000
12. Limp Bizkit, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water: 1,055,000
11. Garth Brooks, Double Live: 1,085,000

10. Usher, Confessions: 1,096,000
09. Lady Gaga, Born This Way: 1,108,000
08. Backstreet Boys, Millennium: 1,134,000
07. 50 Cent, The Massacre: 1,141,000
06. Taylor Swift, Red: 1,208,000

05. Britney Spears, Oops!…I Did It Again: 1,319,000
04. Backstreet Boys, Black & Blue: 1,591,000
03. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP: 1,760,000

02. N Sync, Celebrity: 1,880,000
01. N Sync, No Strings Attached: 2,416,000


Your thoughts?

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  1. Coffee Addict April 16, 2013

    ‘N Sync’s record will never be broken, not in this iTunes and illegal downloading age.

    • ADC143 April 16, 2013

      Illegal downloading isn’t anything new. It existed during the Nsync era.

      • Mark111 April 16, 2013

        Very little, not everyone had a computer nor an mp3 to play it. Burning CD’s got popular around 2002 and that was an advanced feature. Back then, the only way to play music was either CD’s or tapes, the iPod had just started, but didn’t really pop off til 05. But I think music sold more back then cause music had a platform, MTV.

  2. Savannah April 16, 2013

    Big ups to Usher being the only R&B singer on the list!!

    • MuiMui April 16, 2013

      This is something there are many who have done really great in their Quest for Excellence in the Arts.

  3. GaGa For GaGa April 16, 2013


    • MuiMui April 16, 2013

      Hey why would you think that about rihanna because you and many seem to think that rihanna can not sing in the first place, but it seems you love beyonce and she is so great it is kind of strange not seeing beyonce top this list are at least be doing as good as britney is doing wouldn’t you think.

  4. GaGa For GaGa April 16, 2013

    lol n wheres Destinys Child?????????


    • Mark111 April 16, 2013

      Gaga fans shouldn’t talk and should thank amazon 99 cents cloud storage promotion for her eatery of the list. Don’t forget that Rated R sold more then Fame Monster in the same week of release. Ya know, since y’all want to call that re-release a 2nd album (after it was successful.) Plus DC sold 600K FULL PRICE, so put your paws down and SIT!

      • truth(icki released 1,726 singles and 80 videos for reFLOP and still caint go platinum! Yea b****** i said it NNN WIT!! pops tongue) April 16, 2013

        Put ur paws down and sit…#EPIC i will b using that hun!

  5. Slaylor Swift April 16, 2013

    Dead at 50 cent being a better album seller than beyonce

    • MuiMui April 16, 2013

      Usher, 50 and others has done ever so well and so has taylor, but after all the talk and all the bragging about others being the better singer , there seem to be something wrong since they are not covering the ground of being big sellers at the moment, are even in the past.

      • eqv April 16, 2013

        Beyonce has never hid from the fact that her rise to success was gradual. She actually compliments that fact with being WHY she is still in the running, unlike so many of these artists who have fallen to drugs, controversy, both and more.

    • danny b April 16, 2013

      Ok b**** but where is 50 and Usher now? Not having albums and barely selling gold while Beyonce is selling out tours with NO album out. The fact that you flop closet ass stans keep bringing up Beyonce where she is not mentioned shows that your life is meaningless and pressed and youre secretly obsessed. You remind me of that that crazed psycho fan in The Bodyguard.

  6. TeamBreezy April 16, 2013

    I love this list, really shows who the dominant artists in music are and were …

    Congrats to the repeat offenders like Kanye, nsync, BSB, Tswift and Weezy!

    • danny b April 16, 2013

      keyword: were

  7. TeamBreezy April 16, 2013

    Britneys the highest female on the list

    • MuiMui April 16, 2013

      Britney sure is and people say she can’t sing.

      • MuiMui April 16, 2013

        I was looking for jayz.

      • Dev April 16, 2013

        She cant…

  8. Mother Monster April 16, 2013

    GaGa made the list but no fatass Mariah or old ugly hag Madonna Oooop

    • Savannah April 16, 2013

      Fat ass Mariah is the second best selling female artist after old hag Madonna though. Oop. Pay homage boo.

    • ADC143 April 16, 2013

      Gaga wouldn’t be on the list if her b******* music didn’t sell for a penny. She will NEVER live that down… just like she won’t live down the fact that BTW is a direct copy off that Madonna song.

    • Pon_de April 16, 2013

      DEAD @ the fools that would rather huge first week sales vs. multiple DIAMOND certifications. check the receipts, boo!

  9. King B>Rihanna April 16, 2013


    • The Truth April 16, 2013

      That’s why Michael Jackson purchased the rights to all of there music. Yep his estate owns it all.

      • Stella April 17, 2013

        Yup! LOL

        If the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, as John Lennon once claimed, Michael Jackson had the entire Holy Trinity beat.

        – Joe Vogel

  10. King B>Rihanna April 16, 2013


  11. truth(icki released 1,726 singles and 80 videos for reFLOP and still caint go platinum! Yea b****** i said it NNN WIT!! pops tongue) April 16, 2013

    OH GOSH…something ELSE to fight about. Sam you putn allthis other crap up how about promoting Fannys new leaked song she leaked yesterday ‘Supernatural Love’

  12. DAMIEN April 16, 2013

    Well… Who THE F*** cares about first week sales?

    Mariah, Whitney, Madonna, Tina, Janis, Celine and Michael and many more etc… have NEVER seen such huge first week sales but they have, individually and collectively speaking, all sold over 200+ Million Records/Albums WW.

    As well as countless Rock acts/bands who have sold twice as much records/albums an not to mention the Beatles’ “1 BILLION SALES MARK’.


    • Lindo89 April 16, 2013

      …yeah, yeah, yeah.

      That’s what people whose favorites never had a massive first week say. Clearly none of your favs made this list, which is why you’re dismissing it.

    • Santiago April 16, 2013

      Actually Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” was the FIRST album ever to sell One Million in a week…it wasn’t First Week but it was couple of weeks after it debut…Talk about an Album being HUGE even after the First Week…Most First week Drop after the Debut…She Debut High….but still manage to work up to a Million….The First Artist to ever do so….talk about Impact….Records are Meant to be Broken but it’s Beautiful thing to set the Standard without Internet, Facebook, Youtube,Twitter like she did back in 1992 with the just video premieres, tours , radio and award show performances…Heres to all the Artist who actually WORKED hard for their Success (MJ,Madonna,Prince etc.) ,,,,Yep the Late Great Whitney was the FIRST….

  13. Credit April 16, 2013

    Weird how none of the legends are in here…MJ, Whitney, Madonna, Arerha, Tina Turner, Prince, Mariah…heck even Adele. Oddly enough, a good amount of the people listed are irrelevant now.

  14. POP ROYALTY ( RUDE BOY) April 16, 2013

    that was a long time ago buddy when ppl were interested to go to the music store and buy the physical copy of the album.

    • JACKSON360 April 16, 2013

      LOL@you claiming that this was a long time ago! A number of the albums on this list are no more than 10 years old. Methinks that seeing this list makes Rihanna’s piddly numbers all the more painful for you to cope with.

  15. SIERRA LEE April 16, 2013

    And why do people keep saying that sales “today” are bad…

    The music industry has always been like this.

    Sales have always fluctuated…

    From the 60s till now.

    We’re just in a new era, that’s all…

    • Savannah April 16, 2013

      Sales ARE bad. And they will continue to get worse. The music industry is in a state of emergency because of it…

    • JACKSON360 April 16, 2013

      Um, when what’s considered a “hit album” today struggles to go just platinum, and less than 20 manage to go multi-platinum, that is BAD for “today”. I laugh at today’s generation of artists and fans. Your numbers are a joke. When I was a teenager, hit albums were selling 5 million plus in the US alone. Now 5 million WW is considered a “smash.” What a f*****’ joke!

  16. The Tea April 16, 2013

    We all know Gaga made it on this list because she had that Amazon discount. No one is here for that 0.99c album, Monsters.

    • MuiMui April 16, 2013

      It do not matter if she sold her music for a quarter she still made it.

  17. Dom April 16, 2013

    I always say it’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish it, MJ, Whitney, Mariah, Madonna etc. being a prime example. I’d rather have an album sell 500k in it’s 5th week (music box mc) than 1m in it’s 1st.

    • Savannah April 16, 2013

      Yep. Bruno’s debut album sold 55k in the first week, but went on to sell 2 mil. Gaga sold 1.1 mil in the first week, but only sold 2 mil overall. To me, that’s a flop….

  18. Savannah April 16, 2013

    Honestly, what was the last CD you guys PURCHASED? For me, it was Bruno Mars back in December, but before that it was “4” back in 2011. Lol. Terrible, right?

    • Credit April 16, 2013

      I agree, I haven’t bought a hard copy of a cd in 10 years. I bought ONE digital album recently. In the past, I didn’t see the point in “supporting” music artists because I thought they were already filthy rich. I mean, Beyonce and Jay Z just became the first billionaire pop couple. Beyonce alone is expected to make over 100 million from her tour, which is crazy. I always thought entertainers were overpaid and doctors, teachers, etc were underpaid. Of course, my views have changed since I was a teenager and I plan on buying more music this year.

  19. Courtney April 16, 2013

    it’s not like any of those outside of the 20/20 Experience are shocking huge artists open huge as Adeles next album probably will when releaesd the two highest sales weeks for Alanis Morrisettes Jagged little Pill were Christmas Week 1995 780,000 the albums 26th week and it’s 34th the week after the grammy awards in 1996 when it sold 600k so anomollies do happen

  20. the real xoxo April 16, 2013

    Sales =/= quality.

  21. Just to Say April 16, 2013

    No Madonna, No Mariah, No Janet, No Whitney, No Beyoncé, No Rihanna I could go on…. This list is not important.

  22. the real xoxo April 16, 2013

    nowadays albums sell quite high first week because music has become more disposable than it was 20 years ago.
    People buy the album 1st week, listen to it for a month or 2 then dump it.
    Before people were still buying albums years later, Adele is an exception.

  23. DAMIEN April 16, 2013

    And the reason why ‘Michael, Celine, Tina, Aretha, Prince, Whitney’ etc…
    arent on the list is because they have never had HIGH first week sales.

    Whitney: 305, 000 – I Look To You (2009)

    Tina: 299, 000 – Private Dancer (1984)

    Princ: 512, 000 – Purple Rain (1984)

    Aretha: 196, 000 – Who’s Zooming Who (1985) – THIS IS HER HIGHEST.

    Mariah: 400, 000+ – E=MC* (2008)

    Michael: 420, 000 – BAD – (1987)

    Celine: 535, 000 – All the way… A decade of song – (1999)



    You see, these legends have had poor first week sales but still sold millions regardless.

    • JOHNVIDAL April 16, 2013

      I know! I think Celine did over 600,000 first week in 2002 with “A new day has Come” though.

  24. the real xoxo April 16, 2013

    First week sales mean nothing.
    They are just an indication of how much hype the artist has.
    hype =/= talent.

  25. raphael.s April 16, 2013



  26. Rach April 16, 2013

    First week Sales = Hype.

  27. briej April 16, 2013

    The Keyword was 1st week sales we all know that most of these albums had a great 1st week and maybe an ok 2nd week but the albums didn’t have longevity

  28. King B>Rihanna April 16, 2013

    MJ “Thriller” is not on the list but it is the best selling album of all time.

    • Stella April 17, 2013

      Sold 20,000 in it’s first week. Then it went on to sell 1 mill a week for a couple of months straight.

  29. RoyalKev April 16, 2013

    It’s funny how everyone looks for Beyonce’s name to be on every list… but, hello it’s missing a few stars that you’d expect to see on it as well.

    Michael Jackson
    Whitney Houston
    Mariah Carey
    Janet Jackson

    Enough said…

    It’s a great accomplishment to pull in huge numbers in your first week, but it’s not the only one that matters.

    • RoyalKev April 16, 2013

      Btw, I’m sure Bey would make the top 40…
      B’Day – 541K
      DC3 Survivor – 663K
      So this post really doesn’t even have to be about Beyonce!

    • Suicide Blonde April 16, 2013

      Please!..don’t put Beyonce with those greatest names you mentioned.

  30. The Truth April 16, 2013

    If you young punks would sit down and do your homework you’d see that 98% of those albums came out between 2000-2010. Record labels didn’t really start pushing for those sales goals within one week until the very late 90’s. Ya’ll just love microwave everything, microwave artists, microwave sales, microwave relationships. F*** out of here with that.

    • JOHNVIDAL April 16, 2013

      Yaaaaaaasss LOL

  31. Monstarebel April 16, 2013

    First week sales really dont mean s*** tbh it matters how much that album goes on to sell in the future…

  32. Lovebird (I’m legit) April 16, 2013

    OMG I thought Beyonce was the supposed King, where is she on this list lmao. I can see Gaga, Britney, Usher but no Bey, and these are apparently lessors according to The hive.

    So Beyonce hyped up king status is just a facade of just how basic she really is. She even released a song about “can’t nobody take me off” lmao, she’s just as delusional ad her fans.

    • Loyalty April 16, 2013

      Whers Rihanna, shes supposed to be the biggest star in the world

    • Hush April 16, 2013

      Where’s Rihanna’s big ass c** drenched forehead on this list? I thought that h** was supposed to be having some sort of “reign” that won’t let up…her first week numbers would be an embarrassment to everyone mentioned on this list.

      • Mother Monster April 16, 2013

        Gaga>>>>>>> Rih n bey

    • Drew April 16, 2013

      Not even the biggest legends are there idiot, why should Beyoncé be? You are so obsessed with her its worrying.

  33. Music Soul Harmony April 16, 2013

    Congrats to them but most of them are not even relevant today
    And couldn’t continue that success. Poor that.

    • Hush April 16, 2013

      Just about everyone on that list is still “relevant” today.

      • Music Soul Harmony April 16, 2013

        50 cent, Norah Jones, Limp Bizkit? Uhh not really. Lil Wayne has been declining. The BSB and Nysnc, well they arn’t here anymore so I rest my case. No real legends on there except the Beatles.

  34. demo April 16, 2013

    U.S first week sales are really good I’m proud of everyone, if you were counting worldwide 1st week sales as well I know for a fact Utada Hikaru would be in that list her album distance sold 3 million copies the first week! that is amazing, wish she had that much success in the U.S market

  35. Bill April 16, 2013

    The Eminem Show 1,322,000 copies first copies

    • Bill April 16, 2013

      05. The Eminem Show 1,322,000

  36. Mother Monster April 16, 2013

    BORN THIS WAY B******!!!!!! YAAAAS!!!!!!!!!

  37. Mother Monster April 16, 2013

    Born this way slayed!!!!!!

    • Hush April 16, 2013

      The dollar bins.

  38. HOTSTUFF April 16, 2013

    this is kind of irrelevant, this list does not equal who was/is the “biggest” star with the most impact &continued success:

    MJ, Madonna, Mariah, Withney, Prince are not on the list….

    • Mother Monster April 16, 2013

      prince who,??? Queen GaGa is there tho yaaas

    • Hush April 16, 2013

      MJ, Madonna, Mariah, W-h-i-t-n-e-y (learn to spell, idiot), Prince all have RIAA-DIAMOND certified albums. Does Rihgonorrhea? Nope. So don’t even try that.

  39. meenadelrey April 16, 2013

    yessss at the mm lp being 3rd . its now diamond.

  40. Mother Monster April 16, 2013


    #BORNTHISWAY B******!!

    • Hush April 16, 2013

      Where’s Gaga’s RIAA DIAMOND certified album? Madonna’s got a few of ’em…

  41. Drew April 16, 2013

    First week sales don’t really reflect anything much other than hyoe

    • Drew April 16, 2013


      • Mother Monster April 16, 2013

        B**** stfu… dont be mad ur fav didn’t make the list kiiiiii

      • Drew April 16, 2013

        Mad? No boo MJ is not there so how is this a reflection of success again?

  42. Mother Monster April 16, 2013

    Lol oh & no xtina lol shows that Britney has always slayed xtina

  43. Mother Monster April 16, 2013

    Beyonce claims shes king bey yet has never sold over 600k first week lmao. ……

  44. Mother Monster April 16, 2013

    Born this way >>>>>>>>>>>>> Any Madonna record

    Born this way >>>>>>>>>>>>>Any Beyonce record

    Born this way >>>>>>>>>>>>>Any Rihanna Record

    Born this way >>>>>>>>>>>>>Any Michael record besides thriller

    Born this way >>>>>>>>>>>>>Any Mariah record

    Born this way >>>>>>>>>>>>>Any Christina Record

  45. Ali April 16, 2013

    What Rihanna reign? Lmao

  46. Mark111 April 16, 2013

    And just think, Nsync would’ve sold twice as much is they had enough in stores, I think they sold more then that the 2nd week of release. (I forgot which album tho.) Big ups to Usher for being the only R&B artist on there and Backstreet, T Swift and Lil Wayne for being on there twice. AND Nsync for having not one, but one and two spot.

    • Lady GodGa April 16, 2013

      And congratulate Queen Gaga

  47. King B>Rihanna April 16, 2013

    lmfao! at this Lady Gaga fan.

    gurl you need more people.

  48. Lady GodGa April 16, 2013

    Born this way=Legendary Album

  49. Absolved April 16, 2013

    I just have to laugh at the Gaga troll.

    Lady Gaga is the only one on that list whose album sold a “million” via a 99¢ discount…she’s also the only one who suffered an 85% drop the second week…and she’s the only one whose album fizzled out at only 2x platinum.

    Gaga’s entry on this list is totally bogus. Born This Way is the b****** child on here. The rest of those albums were blockbusters; they debuted large and went on to sell through the roof. Hers, when put into perspective, was a flop.

  50. cake like lady gaga April 16, 2013

    I don’t see FRAUDyonce on this list. The H** must be devastated.


    • Hive April 16, 2013

      Gaga wouldn’t even be on that list if she wouldn’t of discounted her album for 99cent lol… She’s pathetic

  51. just sayin’ April 16, 2013

    People are so silly. It says biggest first week sales. Not biggest selling ever. This is a great list but if you are looking for over all sales, this list changes. I ask would you want great opening or great running. There is a difference

  52. OK April 16, 2013

    I think Sam was just trying to start a stan war by putting Gaga on the list.

    Born This Way will be forever tainted by that 99 cent Amazon deal. I wish she’d never done that. I think she was focused more on the short term–selling 1 million in a week–than on the LONG TERM sales. The whole era just seemed poorly executed and not well thought out. And, of course, there was Adele. *sighs*

    But, given her tour did pretty well IMO considering that the album wasn’t that well-received is a feat in itself. I mean, how many acts would’ve just outright cancelled their tour from the beginning, or grossed a lot less than 160 million with a COMPLETED tour?

  53. Hive April 16, 2013

    Gaga doesn’t deserve to be on that list

  54. OK April 16, 2013

    And I think some of y’all supposed Gaga fans are trying to get people to shade Gaga with your comments. *SMH*

    • MsThing485 April 16, 2013

      When people come here and use artists names to be obnoxious, I think they are actually haters of said artist. They knew what the reaction is gonna be. These alleged Gaga stans probably despise her and just decided to bait people into attacking her by acting out under name.

      • Frank Ocean Stan April 16, 2013

        Bingo 🙂

  55. cake like lady gaga April 16, 2013

    The H** is up in here talking about 99c, WHERE IS YOUR FAVE ON THE LIST? Nowhere!!!!!!!!

    99c or not, Gaga is there and FRAUDyonce isn’t. YOU WILL DEAL!!!!!!!!!!

  56. cake like lady gaga April 16, 2013

    Gaga came and did what the other lessors haven’t been able to do in their whole career. When will FRAUDyonce & Rihanna go platinum in one week? Even JT couldn’t go platinum in one week..

    Who’s bowing down now? How does it feel on ya knees?


  57. Jay Jay April 16, 2013

    I love Gaga but she shouldn’t be on the list. Most her albums first week was from the amazon deal

    • JOHNVIDAL April 16, 2013

      Most??? 700,000 is more than 400,000 hun. Just saying 🙂

  58. Little Monster April 16, 2013

    YES GAGA! Boss Lady. And I love Bey too, Im not gonna shade her, at least her first week sales are better than Rihannas. And Rihanna HAD discounts and still couldn’t touch either.

  59. . : : h 2 o : : . April 16, 2013

    Grats to them.

  60. KING BEYHIVE April 16, 2013

    Those of you complaining about your fave not being on the list I just want to let you know this list is compiled of ALBUMS with the highest FIRST WEEK SALES in history. These are not opinions these are facts so it doesn’t make since to say you don’t agree with the list. It makes you sound ignorant. Secondly, like I said this list is compiled of first week album sales nothing more it doesn’t take anything away from artist not on the list. Remember some of the biggest selling albums of all time(Michael Jackson Thriller etc) are not on the list this is just first week sales!!!

  61. T4JC April 16, 2013

    lol gaga/btw is the biggest :::..FLOP..::: on that list.
    All of those other albums dwarfed hers.

  62. TAYLOR SWIFTS NUMBER 1 FAN!!! April 16, 2013

    Taylor swift has 2 albums in the top 15.

    • JOHNVIDAL April 16, 2013

      The teen phenomenom hun. Just like NSync, BackStreet and Britney. Nobody takes those 4 names seriously 🙂

      • TAYLOR SWIFTS NUMBER 1 FAN!!! April 16, 2013

        Coming from someone who bigs up bruno mars, when his music is cheesy as hell…

        At least you got something right Taylor swift is a phenomenom

  63. Rossana April 16, 2013

    Wheres is beyonce ??? Puhahahahaha I thought she was big there puhahaha

  64. Suicide Blonde April 16, 2013

    Gaga shouldn’t be there, just saying….Backstreet Boys, N Sync, Britney Spears and Eminem were the masters at this….Yes!….EMINEM.

    • J April 17, 2013

      yes girl!

  65. JOHNVIDAL April 16, 2013

    These are amazing achievements. But obviously the huge thing is the amount of copies an album sells at the end of its commercial journey.
    If I remember correctly “The Bodyguard” was the first album in history to sell over a million copies in a week. It was like a month or two after its release. That´s f****** SLAYING and having staying power, not a success based on histerical hype. Ask Adele how she feels about not being on this list but still having sold more than any other of the recent releases in this list

  66. MaZ April 16, 2013

    Where’s Mariah carey??

  67. J.L.O April 16, 2013

    Britney yas I remember the year she got those first week sales and the album didn’t just stale away it sold a sh*tload. Congrats to everyone on the list.

  68. Junior in Jamaica April 16, 2013

    Wow Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West and 50 Cent did that for Hip Hop! Much love to Usher too!

  69. J April 17, 2013

    I love seeing Britney up there, people underestimate her a lot..

    dead at Gaga fans making excuses for her $1 flop lmaooo

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