Thanks in no small part to a major promotion on Amazon.com, which offered a digital version of the album for 99 cents, Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” crossed the million mark to become the fastest-selling album in years.
Wednesday’s Billboard 200 chart will reveal that the latest Gaga album sold 1,108,000 copies for the top slot. Though big, chart-topping sales had undoubtedly been expected, it was unclear she could cross the million threshold. “The Fame Monster,” an EP-esque release that followed her breakout “The Fame” and preceded “Born,” had only helped move about 300,000 copies (combined total from sales of the actual disc and the repackaged deluxe version of “The Fame”) in its debut and thus failed to provide proof that she could be quite so massive an “album artist.”
With hits like “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “Paparazzi,” “Bad Romance” and “Born this Way” essentially everywhere, she had already established herself as a singles hit-maker.
While the 1.108 million total tops that of Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” (1.047 million) and ranks as the best debut since 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” net 1.141 million in 2005, Swift fans can point to the fact that “Speak Now” reached its total with a higher price-point. There were indeed promotions for Swift as well, but not rivaled the 99c deal for “Born this Way” on Amazon. Not surprisingly, more than 660,000 digital copies of “Born this Way” were sold in the debut week–an all-time record for the format.