Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 1,108,000 copies sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's only the 17th album to sell a million in a week since SoundScan began tracking sales data in 1991, and the highest sales week since 2005.
"Born This Way" also marks Gaga's first No. 1 album — "The Fame" debut peaked at No. 2, while "The Fame Monster" EP reached No. 5 and dance effort "The Remix" hit No. 6.Additionally, Gaga is only the fifth woman to notch a million-plus week.
While there wasn't any doubt as to whether Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" album would debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — that's been an assumption for months — its first-week number was always in question. A month ago, executives at Gaga's record company, Universal Music Group, were expecting a first week total of around 400,000.That number escalated to 650,000-700,000 by its release on Monday, May 23 — the same day AmazonMP3 announced its controversial decision to sell the album for 99-cents for one day only. By last Wednesday (May 25), sources indicated that a million-unit week seemed quite plausible. Once Amazon opted to again sell the set for 99-cents on Thursday, May 26, "Born This Way's" million-unit week was all but guaranteed. It's estimated that AmazonMP3 sold upwards of 440,000 downloads of its 99-cent "Born This Way" album.
Gaga's total downloads haul from all digital retailers was 662,000 — the biggest week for a digital album in SoundScan history. It represents 60% of the set's overall first week.A full recap of the week's top 10 selling albums and digital songs will follow on Wednesday morning (June 1).