Chart Watch: Beyoncé Takes Female Record


"Beyoncé" sold 991K copies in its first 10 days of release. In so doing, it has become the best-selling album by a female artist in 2013. The old record was held by P!nk's "The Truth About Love," which has sold 920K copies in 2013 (on top of 945K copies it sold in 2012).

"Beyoncé" sold 374K copies in its second week, which was its first full week of release. It sold 617K copies last week, even though it was available for only three days in that tracking week.

Beyoncé's album ranks #1 on The Billboard 200 for the second week. Beyoncé's previous album, "4," also spent its first two weeks at #1, but its sales tally after two weeks was a much more modest 426K.

"Beyoncé" sold 235K digital copies this week, which puts it at #1 on the Top Digital Albums chart for the second week.

"Beyoncé" is a cinch to top the 1 million mark in U.S. sales next week. It will become Beyoncé's first album to sell 1 million copies in just three weeks. Her previous fastest album to reach 1M was "I Am…Sasha Fierce," which took four weeks. Here's the number of weeks her other previous solo albums took to reach the 1 million mark: "Dangerously In Love" (seven), "B'Day" (eight) and "4" (an uncharacteristically slow 26).

If "Beyoncé" sells about 100K copies in the coming week, it will wind up as one of the top 10 albums of 2013. (Next week's chart, for the tracking week ending Sunday Dec. 29, will be the final one of the year. FYI, the album that is currently #10 for the year-to-date, Mumford & Sons' "Babel," has sold 1,083,000 copies in 2013.)

"Beyoncé" is vying to become the first album to wind up in the year-end top 10 based on just three weeks of sales availability since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991. The current record-holder as the album that wound up in the year-end top 10 based on the fewest number of weeks in the marketplace is Garth Brooks' "Sevens," which ranked among the top 10 albums of 1997 even though it was available for just the last five weeks of that year.

Moreover, if "Beyoncé" winds up in the year-end top 10, this will be the sixth year that Beyoncé has achieved that feat (counting her work with Destiny's Child). This would put her in a tie with Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey and Eminem as the only artists to have made the year-end top 10 in six different years since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking music sales.

"Beyoncé" is the singer's fifth studio album. It's rather unusual for an artist to release an eponymous album this deep into a career. There are only five other cases where an artist has reached #1 with an eponymous album this far along. Fleetwood Mac's "Fleetwood Mac" (1976) was that band's 10th studio album (but its first with the line-up that brought it to superstardom). The Beatles' "The Beatles" (1968, often called The White Album) was the Fab Four's ninth studio album in the U.S. (excluding soundtracks and compilations). Heart's hit-studded "Heart" (1985) was that group's eighth studio album. Metallica's "Metallica" (1991) was that band's fifth studio album. Janet Jackson's "janet." (1993) was her fifth studio album.