Taylor Swift debuts atop Billboard 200
David Archuleta settles for secondNEW YORK -- With the best sales week for a country album in a year, 18-year-old Taylor Swift debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums with her sophomore set, "Fearless."
The Big Machine release sold 592,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, the largest sum for a country album since Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" started with 711,000 copies last November.
"Fearless" shifted 129,000 copies digitally, the fourth-biggest week for a digital album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking the category in 2004. Swift already is No. 1 on Hot Country Songs with "Love Story" and has posted five top 20 debuts on the Hot 100 this year.
The next three slots on the Billboard 200 are debuts, with "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta starting at No. 2 with his self-titled 19 Recordings/Jive album on sales of 183,000 copies. The 29th edition of the multilabel "Now That's What I Call Music!" series begins at No. 3 with 172,000 units, and T-Pain's "Thr33 Ringz" (Kovinct/Nappy Boy/Jive) opens at No. 4 with 167,000 copies.
Last week's No. 1 album, the Chop Shop/Atlantic soundtrack to the film "Twilight," drops to No. 5 on a 35% decrease to 107,000 copies. AC/DC's "Black Ice" slips from No. 2 to No. 6 on a 34% decline to 105,000 units, and Disney's "High School Musical 3" soundtrack drops from No. 3 to No. 7 on a 14% dip to 94,000 copies.
Enya's first holiday album, "And Winter Came" (Reprise), debuts at No. 8 with 92,000 units. The project is expected to be a strong seller through year's end, potentially in the vein of Josh Groban's runaway hit album from last year, "Noel."