LOS ANGELES - Country-pop star Taylor Swift's latest album "Red" has notched up the highest first week U.S. sales figures since 2002. According to Nielsen SoundScan figures, "Red" sold 1.2 million copies in its first week of release.
Swift's album, which will land at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 on Wednesday, will be the 22-year-old singer's third album to top the chart, following 2008's "Fearless" and 2010's "Speak Now." Swift is now also the only female singer to have seen two of her albums sell more than a million copies in the United States in one week. "Speak Now" sold just over 1 million copies in the first week after its release two years ago.
The last album to sell more than "Red" was rapper Eminem's "The Eminem Show," which sold 1.3 million copies in its debut week in 2002. Album sales have also been boosted by the popularity of lead single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," hotly touted by fans to be about ex-boyfriend Gyllenhaal, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 single chart.
“Red” is the 18th album ever to sell a million or more copies in a week in the SoundScan era.