November 21, 2017 / 9:56 AM

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Taylor Swift Sets Records with '1989,' while 'NOW 52,' Sam Hunt and Barry Manilow Struggle to Keep Up

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Maybe you heard Taylor Swift put out a new album last week. Surprise: It went to no. 1 on the Billboard 200. Not only that, it defied the ever-worsening album sales trends and moved more copies during its first week than any record since Eminem's The Eminem Show: 1.287 million copies. That makes it the first record released during 2014 to go platinum and instantly shoots it up to the no. 2 album overall this year, trailing only the Frozen soundtrack. The stats tell the whole story: More than 22 percent of the albums sold last week were indeed 1989, helping her to outsells spots nos. 2 through 107 combined, and the debuts of the previous eight no. 1 albums together. To sum it up: She's a boss. 

That kind of steals the thunder for every other album that debuted this week (and there were a lot of them). NOW 52 became the most recent member of the NOW family to chart in the Top 10, moving 103,000 copies of the most recent volume (an increase from NOW 51). Sam Hunt premieres at no. 3 with Motevallo, which itself sold 70,000 copies. Barry Manilow tops of another another new Top 4 with My Dream Duets, a somewhat morbid collection where the crooner sings with recordings of deceased stars such as Judy Garland. The duets trend remained hot (Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand have had success in recent weeks) as the album sold 51,000 copies. 

Swift may have formally abandoned country now, but between Hunt and the next two entries, we'd say the genre's doing fine. Jason Aldean switched places with Florida Georgia Line, as his Old Boots, New Dirt sold 43,000 copies compared to the latter's Anything Goes, which sold 38,000. 

No. 7 on this week's chart is a band who many wish had created a new album...alas Led Zeppelin was only rereleasing its untitled fourth album. The group remains popular enough that 35,000 fans saw fit to buy in. Chris Tomlin came in close behind with Love Ran Red, which also just cracked 35,000 units sold. 

Last week's no. 1, Slipknot's .5: The Gray Chapter, took a steep drop off, falling to no. 9 with 34,000 copies sold. That was enough to hold off the next bestselling hard rock album however, as Black Veil Brides took the no. 10 position with its self-titled album. That record sold 30,000 copies. 

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