SoundScanner: Beyonce Turns The Lights Out On The Competition (XO!), Setting Sales Records On The Way

by (@grahamorama)

"XO"Bey doesn't seem to be afraid of anything. She rocks this monster roller coaster like it's Sunday brunch.

Hey, did you hear Beyoncé put out a surprise album? Queen Bey majorly shakes up this week’s Top Current Albums chart with her iTunes exclusive, which shattered records at the online retailer and delivered a lump of coal to last week’s chart champ Garth Brooks. Here’s everything you need to know about Beyoncé as well as the rest of this week’s chart news:

Beyoncé soars: And Garth Brooks thought he was going to coast to another week at No. 1. That all changed at midnight on Dec. 13, when Beyoncé decided to drop an album on iTunes out of the clear blue (ivy). The numbers have been touted everywhere, but here they are again: Domestically, Bey’s self-titled set sold 617,000 downloads in just three days and worldwide, the figure was 829,000; both are iTunes records. That marks Beyoncé’s career best start, topping her previous best, B’Day, which began with 541,000. (Her last album, 2011’s 4, opened with 310,000). It also marks the year’s fourth largest debut, behind Justin Timberlake‘s first The 20/20 Experience (968,000), Eminem‘s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (792,000) and Drake‘s Nothing Was the Same (658,000). So yeah, it worked.

Britney falls: With all the news surrounding Beyoncé’s surprise album, Britney SpearsBritney Jean became the definition of “yesterday’s news.” The album slid 17 spots to No. 21 its second week on the charts, on a 73 percent sales tumble. That put the album behind Katy Perry‘s Prism (No. 9, 771,000 total), Lorde‘s Pure Heroine (No. 15, 541,000), Lady Gaga‘s Artpop (No. 17, 497,000) and Miley Cyrus‘ “Bangerz (No. 19, 642,000). Britney Jean has sold 136,000 copies in two weeks and is fading fast.

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