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J. Cole Wins Album Sales Race with 354K; Taylor, Pentatonix, Carrie Follow (Updated)

Update 3: J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive” tops the Billboard 200 on the strength of 375,000 total units.  354,000 of those units are pure sales, while the remaining 21,000 come from Track Equivalent Album and Streaming Equivalent Album credits.

The rest of the top ten is as follows:

2) Taylor Swift – 1989 – 324K units (278K sales)
3) Pentatonix – That’s Christmas to Me – 218K units (207K sales)
4) Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits: Decade #1 – 103K units (94K sales)
5) AC/DC – Rock or Bust – 94K units
6) K. Michelle – Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? – 88K units (84K sales)
7) One Direction – FOUR – 82K units (72K sales)
8) Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour – 81K units (60K sales)
9) Ed Sheeran – x – 65K units (36K sales)
10) Garth Brooks – Man Against Machine – 62K units (62K sales)


Update 2: While Billboard has yet to formally unveil its weekly top 10, official sales data says J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive” will indeed top the total album sales chart with 354,000 sold copies and the Billboard 200 with 371,000 total Billboard units (sales + track equivalent albums + streaming equivalent albums).


Update: With its own Track Equivalent Album and Sales Equivalent Album estimates included, Hits Daily Double says J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive” will top the Billboard 200 with approximately 375,214 “units.” 361,120 of those units are pure album sales.

Taylor Swift’s “1989,” which trailed by more than 80,000 sales, notably closes the gap due to its impressive TEA count. Hits says its sales total of approximately 278,950 will turn into 332,280 total Billboard “units.”

Other top five performers on a “sales + streaming” basis: Pentatonix’s #3 “That’s Christmas to Me” (~203,210 sales, 214,150 total units), Carrie Underwood’s #4 “Greatest Hits: Decade #1” (~91,010 sales, 97,527 total units), AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” (~94,001 sales, 94,816 units).


Besting even the lofty late week forecasts, J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive” storms to the top of the weekly album sales chart.

According to Hits Daily Double, the album moved approximately 361,120 copies in its first week of release. Billboard’s more authoritative data will reveal a slight disparity in the sales total and account for the addition of Track Equivalent Album and Sales Equivalent Album credits, but it will not change the fact that J. Cole’s album is the week’s best-performer.

Taylor Swift’s “1989,” which scored its fifth week atop the chart last week, slips to #2 with about 278,950 weekly copies. Pentatonix’s “That’s Christmas to Me” naturally falls to the #3 position, but it does so on the strength of another weekly count in the 200,000 range. Hits pegs the album’s weekly sales sum at 203,210.

AC/DC’s “Rock or Bust” (~94,001) and Carrie Underwood’s “Greatest Hits: Decade #1” (~91,010) will claim the final two spots on the pure sales chart. K. Michelle’s “Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?” slides into the next position courtesy approximately 83,404 first-week sales.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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