Don’t be surprised if this is only the first of several records broken by Beyonce‘s self-titled opus, released last week: The diva’s surprise fifth album, released sans announcement or promotion late Thursday night, has broken the U.S. iTunes Store’s record for the highest sales for an album — even though she only had three days to do it.
Billboard reports that the album sold 617,000 copies on iTunes (who had the exclusive download) from midnight EST on Friday morning, December 13 through the end of the sales week on Sunday, December 15. The previous one-week sales record on iTunes was set by Taylor Swift‘s Red, which sold 465,000 copies in the week ending on October 28, 2012. (But, again, she had a full week; Bey only had three days.)
Beyonce is also the second-largest digital sales week across all retailers; the best digital week across the board was set by Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way, which shifted 662,000 downloads, including a controversial Amazon promotion that priced the album at $0.99. It’s also given Bey the best sales week of 2013 by a woman and the best sales week of her career.
Billboard expects the album will debut at #1, giving Bey her fifth consecutive #1 album. No big.
In conclusion: Beyonce.
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