With an initial shipment of two million units and massive national exposure through a partnership with Target, a publicity blitz befitting a Hollywood studio and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth, Taylor Swift's third album Speak Now is on target to sell a million copies copies its first week out (the official numbers come in via SoundScan on Wednesday morning), the first artist to do so since 2008, when Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III just passed the platinum mark. In fact, Swift joins a small, exclusive club with few female members and country acts... until now.
Double Live (November 1998)
Recorded during his second world tour, Garth Brooks' two-disc live album broke the first week sales record previously held by Pearl Jam, whose 1993 album Vs. moved 950,378 its first week.
Milllenium (May 1999)
The boy band's third album was its biggest seller, thanks in large part to the radio hit "I Want It That Way," which topped the charts in nearly a dozen countries. Three more singles followed, securing Millenium's place as the best-selling album of 1999 with 9.5 million CDs sold.
No Strings Attached (March 2000)
Record-shattering for its time and never matched after, NSync's Jive Records debut featured three of their biggest hits--"Bye Bye Bye," "It's Gonna Be Me" and "This I Promise You"--and cemented the group's superstardom status. It has since become the best-selling album of the decade, with sales of more than 11 million albums.
The Marshall Mathers LP (May 2000)
Eminem's third studio album broke the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest-selling solo album ever. And it's no wonder: the record featured radio staples "The Real Slim Shady," "Stan," and "The Way I Am."
Oops!... I Did It Again (May 2000)
Britney Spears made music history when her sophomore album opened with sales of over 500,000 in the first day alone! It eventually moved 1,319,193 copies that week and has been certified 11 times platinum since.
Celebrity (July 2001)
The follow-up to No Strings Attached would end up being NSync's last album and the third to sell over 10 million copies worldwide (five million were shipped domestically in the first month alone), but unlike their previous efforts, none of the three singles released managed to make it to No. 1 on the U.S. charts.
The Eminem Show (June 2002)
The best-selling title of 2002 was Eminem's fourth album, which spawned no less than four hits including "Without Me" and "Cleanin' Out My Closet." Despite an early leak of the record, it had no trouble nabbing the No. 1 spot on week of release, eventually selling 19 million copies worldwide.
Confessions (March 2004)
The second best-selling album of the oughts was Usher's R&B masterpiece, which featured the inescapable dance floor staple (even today) "Yeah!," along with hits like "Caught Up" and "My Boo." Usher joins another elite club: those who've sold 10 million copies, qualifying for diamond-certification by the Recording Industry Association of America or RIAA.
The Massacre (March 2005)
In the first four days following its release, 50 Cent's second album moved nearly all of its 1.1 million copies, making it the third best debut by a hip-hop artist ever (behind Eminem). The Massacre was also nominated for a Best Rap Album Grammy, eventually losing to Kanye West's Late Registration.
Tha Carter III (June 2008)
Among the most anticipated releases of 2008, thanks to a steady build-up of mix tapes and guest appearances, Lil Wayne's sixth studio album was a critical and commercial success and later won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.