When musicians release a new album, they are lucky to sell one million copies in a lifetime. However, there are some musicians who manage to sell one million albums in the first seven alone. Across all genres, these musicians have reached platinum album status. Our first band sold over one million copies with an album of old songs that went on sale 30 years after their original release.
The Beatles:1 (2000)
On November 13, 2000, the album 1 was released. The album is a compilation of Beatles’ songs, which has essentially every number one single the band has ever released in the United States and in the UK between 1962 and 1970. The album was released on the 30th anniversary of the band’s dissolution and was their first compilation of songs available on just one CD.
The album sold 1,259,000 units in the first week and went on to become the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. As of 2009, it was the sixth best-selling album of the 21st century and had sold well over 31 million copies.
Eminem: The Eminem Show (2002)
On May 26, 2002, rapper Eminem released his fourth studio album titled The Eminem Show. The album contains some of Eminem’s most timeless songs such as “Without Me”, “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”, “Superman”, and “Sing For the Moment”.
The album went on to reach No.1 in 19 countries and was the best-selling album of 2002 in the United States. Within the first week, it sold 1,322,000 copies, won the award for the Best Rap Album, and was certified as 10x Platinum by the RIAA. Since 2002, it has sold over 10,600,000 copies in the United States alone.
Adele: 25 (2015)
Adele released her third studio album 25 on November 20, 2015. The album is a reflection on her past 25 years of life and was a follow-up to her second album 21. The album debuted at No.1 in 32 countries and broke first-week sales records in the UK and the US.
25 sold 3.38 million copies in just one week in the US and was the highest single-week sales for an album since Nielson began keeping track in 1991. When it reached 17.4 million copies sold Adele’s 25 became the best-selling album of 2015 and is easily one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Limp Bizkit: Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000)
On October 17, 2000, the rap-metal group Limp Bizkit came out with their third studio album titled Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Flavored Water. The album came out as No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold 1,050,000 copies within the first week and 400,000 copies in the first day.
This was the largest first-week sales debut for a rock album in the United States. The album remained No. 1 for two weeks and was a certified 6x Platinum record by the RIAA and a 6x Platinum by Canada Music.
Lil Wayne: The Carter III (2008)
The Carter III is Lil Wayne’s sixth studio album which he released back on June 10, 2008. The album had a lot of hype around it after numerous leaks and release delays. Finally, after its release, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold 1,006,000 copies in the first week.
By the end of 2008, The Carter III had sold 2.88 million and had four singles that made it to the charts including “Lollipop”, “A Milli”, “Got Money”, and “Mrs. Officer”. Not only did the album achieve commercial success, it also received recognition from critics and made it onto Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Taylor Swift: 1989 (2014)
1989 is Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album and was named after the year she was born and for the influence that 1980s pop music had on her musical career. It was released on October 27, 2014, and is different from her other albums which were more country music-oriented with 1989 being a primarily pop album.
Swift’s album sold 1.287 million copies during its first week and was the best-selling album of 2014. In addition, the album won the Grammy Award for the Album of the Year, making Swift the only female to win the award twice after she won it first for Fearless in 2010.
NSYNC: No Strings Attached (2000)
Boy band NSYNC released their album No Strings Attached in 2000. It was their third studio album and was released shortly after they had cut ties with their management Trans Continental and RCA Records, hence the name No Strings Attached.
Four singles were released which helped to hype up the album. It went on to debut at No.1 on the Billboard 200. No Strings Attached sold 2.4 million copies, setting a record for one-week sales in the United States and making it the best-selling of 2000.
Norah Jones: Feels Like Home (2004)
After her breakthrough album Come Away With Me, Norah Jones released Feels Like Home in 2004. The album was nominated at the Grammy Awards for the Best Pop Vocal Album, while Norah’s single “Sunrise” won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Feels Like Home sold 1,022,000 copies during its first week and 395,000 the second week on the shelves, making it the second best-selling album of 2004. Worldwide, the album has sold over 12 million copies.
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack (1992)
The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album is the best-selling soundtrack album of all time and has sold almost 50 million copies since its release. The soundtrack is from the film of the same name and was released by Arista Records on November 17, 1992.
The late Whitney Houston co-produced the album and included songs of hers, as well as collaborations with other artists. The album went on to sell 1,061,000 copies in the first week and is the 15th best-selling album in the United States.
Backstreet Boys: Black and Blue (2000)
On November 21, 2000, the Backstreet Boys released their third album in the United States titled Black & Blue. Upon its release, the album set the record for the most international sales in a week selling 5 million copies worldwide and 1.6 million in the United States alone.
The anticipation waiting for the album to be released grew threefold when the Backstreet Boys partnered with Burger King to release small samples of songs leading up to the big release date. AJ McLean leaked to MTV that Nick Carter and Kevin Richardson would be playing drums and piano on the new album as well.
Britney Spears: Oops!…I Did It Again (2000)
Britney Spears released her second studio album Oops!…I Did It Again in 2000 which sold 1,319,000 copies in the first week. The sales broke the record of the highest first-week sales in the first week by a female artist.
It held the record for an incredible 15 years until Adele came out with 25 in 2015. Oops!…I Did It Again is Spears’ second best-selling album behind …Baby One More Time.
50 Cent: The Massacre (2005)
The Massacre is rapper 50 Cent’s second studio album which was released back in 2005. After its release, the album earned a spot at the No.1 position on the United States Billboard 200 and went on to sell an impressive 1.15 million albums in the four days following its release.
That same year the album was nominated for the Award for Best Rap Album at the 48th Grammy Awards, but lost to Kanye West. Originally, the album was supposed to be titled The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and was going to be released on February 14, but later the album was shortened to just The Massacre.
Lady Gaga: Born This Way (2011)
Lady Gaga released her second album Born This Way in 2011, which was a huge success. The solo artist co-produced every track on the album, as well as worked with numerous other producers and musicians to make the album exactly how she wanted it.
Born This Way debuted within the top five spot of every major music chart at the time. The album also sold more than one million copies in the first week and 440,000 on Amazon in the first two days. The song “Born This Way” was also the 1,000 song to reach the No.1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 since its creation in 1956.
Usher: Confessions (2004)
Usher came out with his fourth studio album Confessions in 2004. The album is primarily R&B, however, it was mixed with some other genres too, which is one of the reasons it became such an intriguing album to fans. It sold 1.1 million copies in the first week and won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album that year.
Confessions was also the second best-selling album of the 2000s, selling over 8 million copies in 2004. As of 2016, there have been over 20 million copies sold worldwide and Confessions remains a well-known album.
NSYNC: Celebrity (2001)
Celebrity was NSYNC’s fourth and final album, released in 2001. Like No Strings Attached, it was the band’s second time debuting at No.1 on the Billboard 200. During the album’s first week of sales, it sold 1,879,495 copies, only slightly behind No Strings Attached.
The album had the third-best debut week and fans were all over it. After the band had announced that they were “experimenting with new music” major hype built up, waiting for the new album to be released. Sadly, fans didn’t know that it would also be the last album.
Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
Released on May 23, 2000, The Marshall Mathers LP was produced by Dr. Dre and Eminem with the help of other artists such as The 45 King, the Bass Brothers, and Mel-Man. It was the second album released by Eminem with his first being The Slim Shady LP.
In the United States, the album sold 1.78 million in the first week and was soon the fastest-selling album by an American solo artist at the time. Furthermore, at the Grammy Awards that year, the album was nominated for Album of the Year and won the Best Rap Album.
Taylor Swift: Red (2012)
In 2012, Red was the fourth studio album released by Taylor Swift. The tracks dish on her relationships and the emotions she went through. She refers to them as “red emotions” which is how the album got its name.
The Red album also features collaborations with Coldplay and Ed Sheeran, as well as some experimental tracks. During its first week of sales, Swift’s album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart and sold 1.21 million copies of the album. The album also went on to be Taylor Swift’s first chart-topper in the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Garth Brooks: Double Live (1998)
Double Live is country music artist Garth Brooks’ only live album. The album was released in late 1998 and was a two-CD compilation of songs that were recorded during Brooks’ 1996-1998 world tour. The album sold 1,805,000 copies in just one week and broke the previous sales record set by Pearl Jam.
It also became the best-selling live album in the United States after it surpassed Eric Clapton’s Unplugged from 1992. Today, Double Live is the seventh most shipped album in the United States and has sold over 6,017,000 copies since 2012.
Backstreet Boys: Millenium (1999)
The Backstreet Boys released their third album Millenium in 1999, with their record label, Jive Records. It was their first album to be released simultaneously both in the in the United States and internationally which helped to increase their overall sales.
Throughout the course of 1999, the album shipped over 11 million copies and sold 1,134,000 in the first week. Currently, there have been over 30 million copies sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time with their hit singles, “I Want It That Way” and “Larger Than Life”.
Taylor Swift: Speak Now (2010)
Taylor Swift, again! The artist released her third studio album Speak Now on October 25, 2010. All of the songs were written personally by Swift and is a combination of country and pop. The album was well-received by critics and was even nominated for Best Country Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
There were a total of six singles to come from the album which helped to build anticipation for its final release. It sold 1,047,000 copies in the United States during its first week and broke the record for the biggest one-week sales of any female country artist.