11 Albums That Sold Over 1 Million Copies In The First Week

Musicians put in the work to perfect their craft and churn out great music that their teeming fans will love and appreciate. It takes so much to put out a music album, and one of the ways musicians track how much their work is appreciated is through album sales. Music data relating to album sales began in 1991, thanks to SoundScan, now known as Luminate. Since such data came into existence, only 26 albums have sold a million copies in the first week.

Selling a million album copies in the first week is no mean feat. However, some artists have managed to do it, with a few of them even going ahead to do it more than once. Some of the artists that sold a million album copies in the first week include Norah Jones (Feels Like Home), Limp Bizkit (Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water), and Garth Books (Double Live). Others on the prestigious list include Lady Gaga (Born This Way), The Beatles (1), Backstreet Boys (Black & Blue), and Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard). There are more artists on the list, with Taylor Swift and Adele among the most dominant musicians, releasing albums that sold over one million copies in the first week. Here are 11 albums that sold one million copies in their first week.

11. Drake – Views (2016)

Canadian rapper Drake released his fourth studio album, Views, on April 29, 2016. The album was released under three record labels: Cash Money Records, Republic Records, and Young Money Entertainment. In Views, Drake showed his musical diversity by taking influence from West African and West Indian music. He also made his first full foray into Jamaican dancehall music. Other music genres featured in Views include R&B, Afrobeat, pop, and UK funky. Views did remarkably well thanks to its diversified sound as it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Views sold 1.04 million equivalent album units in its first week. Equivalent album units combine streaming and song downloads in addition to traditional album sales. The measurement was introduced in the mid-2010s as a solution to the drop in album sales in the 21st century. Drake’s actual album sales for Views in the first week was 852,000 copies. Besides hitting high equivalent album unit sales, Drake also smashed streaming records with his Views album as it hit a staggering 245 million streams.

Read More: Every Rap And R&B Album That Sold 1 Million Units In A Week

10. Jay-ZMagna Carta Holy Grail (2013)


Magna Carta Holy Grail was Jay-Z’s 12th studio album. Days before the album’s release, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) changed its rules for gold and platinum certification. Before releasing the album on July 4, 2013, Jay-Z sold one million digital copies to Samsung, which then offered the copies to its users for free. Due to that action, the RIAA ruled that artists no longer had to wait 30 days to get certification for digital sales. Hence, Jay-Z’s one million album sales to Samsung began counting immediately after Magna Carta Holy Grail‘s release, meaning the album went platinum soon after its release.

Jay-Z featured artists like Nas, Rick Ross, Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, and his wife, Beyoncé, on the album. Some of the hit songs on the album include “Holy Grail,” “Oceans,” and “Tom Ford.” Besides the one million digital album copies sold to Samsung, Magna Carta Holy Grail sold 528,000 physical copies in its first week and topped the US Billboard 200 chart upon its release. Jay-Z earned six Grammy Award nominations for the album, with “Holy Grail” winning the award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

9. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (2008)


Tha Carter III was Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album. It was released on June 10, 2008, and sold 1,006,000 copies in its first week. Lil Wayne featured several big names in the album, including Jay-Z, Fabolous, Robin Thicke, Kanye West, the late Static Major, and Busta Rhymes. The album had several hit songs, including “A Milli,” “Lollipop,” and “Got Money,” and cemented Lil Wayne’s status as one of the greatest rappers of all time. Tha Carter III received several award nominations, including Album of the Year at the 2009 Grammys. That year’s award season was successful for Lil Wayne, as Tha Carter III earned him a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Meanwhile, “Lollipop” won Best Rap Song, while “A Milli” won Best Rap Solo Performance.

Read More: Lil Wayne Says “Tha Carter III” “Holds No Significance” To Him

8. UsherConfessions (2004)


Usher released his fourth studio album, Confessions, on Mar. 23, 2004. The R&B album had instant hits like “Yeah!,” “Burn,” “My Boo,” and “Confessions Part II.” Confessions sold 1,096,000 copies in its first week, solidifying itself as one of the greatest R&B albums. Confessions also came with some controversy due to its theme. There were wide beliefs that the album was themed around Usher’s personal relationships. However, Jermaine Dupri, who mainly produced Confessions, claimed the album was more reflective of his personal story. Besides incredible album sales, Confessions also earned Usher a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album.

7. 50 Cent – The Massacre (2005)


After announcing himself to the world with his Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ album in 2003, 50 Cent followed it up with The Massacre two years later. The album debuted at no. 1 on the US Billboard 200 thanks to hits like “Candy Shop,” “Just A Lil Bit,” and “Hate It Or Love It.” The Massacre sold 1,141,000 copies after its first week and solidified 50 Cent’s impact in the rap game. Hip-hop bigwigs like Dr. Dre, Eminem, Sha Money XL, and Scott Storch helped produce The Massacre. 50 Cent also featured Eminem, Olivia, Jamie Foxx, and Tony Yayo in the epic album, which was widely positively received and considered as one of his best albums.

6. Britney Spears – Oops!… I Did It Again (2000)


Oops!.. I Did It Again was a befitting name for Britney Spears’ second studio album. A year before its release, Britney debuted with a highly successful album, …Baby One More Time. Hence, she was under pressure to replicate the success of her first album. Britney welcomed the challenge and worked with several highly sought-after producers. Eventually, she put out a pop album that incorporated funk and R&B, earning her high praise and critical acclaim. Oops!.. I Did It Again enjoyed massive commercial success. It sold 1,319,000 copies in its first week and held the record for the fastest-selling album by a female artist and the largest first-week sales for a female album for 15 years.

Read More: Britney Spears Reveals The Origin Of One Of Her Biggest Hits

5. Eminem – The Eminem Show (2002)


Eminem’s fourth studio album, The Eminem Show, sold 1,322,000 in its first week. The album featured songs like “Without Me,” “Cleanin’ Out My Closet,” and “White America.” Eventually, it sold 27 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. Eminem incorporated more rap rock in The Eminem Show than he did with his previous albums. The Eminem Show was themed around The Real Slim Shady’s hip-hop prominence and his mixed feelings about fame. Eminem also took a step back from his Slim Shady alter ego in the album, as he deviated from being satirical.

4. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)


The Eminem Show was not the first album with which Eminem sold over a million copies within the first week. On May 23, 2000, the rapper released his third studio album, The Marshall Mathers LP. Dr. Dre mainly produced the highly successful album, which went on to sell 1,760,000 copies in its first week. The album’s success helped to propel Eminem to the forefront of America’s hip-hop culture. Some of the album’s most popular songs include “Stan,” “The Real Slim Shady,” and “Bitch Please.”

3. NSYNC – No Strings Attached (2000)


NSYNC is a famous boy band consisting of Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, and JC Chasez. Although the band is not as popular as before following a long hiatus, it remains one of the top-selling bands of all time. After making waves with their first two albums, NSYNC took it a notch higher with their third studio album, No Strings Attached. After its release on Mar. 21, 2000, No Strings Attached sold a mindblowing 2,416,000 copies in its first week. NSYNC repeated the feat with their next album, Celebrity, which sold 1,878,000 copies a week after its release on July 24, 2001.

2. Taylor Swift (The Tortured Poets Department, 2024)


Taylor Swift’s knack for singing about her romantic travails in her albums means her teeming fans would always anticipate her next album release. Hence, when she announced an album was on the way during the 2024 Grammy Awards, Swifties readied their earbuds in anticipation, as the album was Taylor’s first since her split from Joe Alwyn. Taylor released The Tortured Poets Department, her 11th studio album, on April 19, 2024. Unsurprisingly, her latest work sold 2,610,000 copies in its first week.

However, TTPD isn’t Taylor’s first album to sell over a million copies in its first week. The beloved songstress achieved that feat six other times with her previous albums. These include: 1989 (Taylor’s Version), which sold 1,359,000 copies in its first week; 1989, which sold 1,287,000 copies in its first week; Reputation, which sold 1,216,000 copies in its first week; Red, which sold 1,208,000 copies in its first week; Midnights, which sold 1,140,000 copies in its first week; and Speak Now, which sold 1,047,000 copies in its first week.

1. Adele (25, 2015)


While Taylor Swift has sold over a million album copies with seven albums, Adele needed just one album to achieve the feat three times. On Nov. 20, 2015, Adele released 25, her third studio album. The album’s title reflected the singer’s life and mind frame when she was 25 years old and featured classics like “Hello,” “Water Under the Bridge,” and “Love in the Dark.” Adele’s 25 enjoyed so much commercial success. It racked in a massive 3,378,000 album sales in its first week, breaking the record for first-week sales. The album sold over a million copies in a week for the second time in December 2015, selling 1,112,000 copies. It repeated the feat for a third time in January 2016, selling 1,158,000 copies in a week.