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Beyonce's surprise album shatters iTunes sales records

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Beyonce Publicity 2
Nick Farrell Photography

Well, that was fast: That new Beyoncé album that came out last Friday has already broken an iTunes record or two, Apple has announced.

Beyonce Publicity 2
Nick Farrell Photography

The singer’s self-titled “visual album” — which, of course, was available exclusively on iTunes — sold a ridiculous 828,773 copies in just three days, making it the music platform’s fastest selling album ever. The release also broke the U.S. first-week album sales record, with 617,213 units sold in America.

That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, though: in addition to being sold only on iTunes, there are no a la carte singles or digital downloads; fans either have to purchase the whole thing or go on living their lives without new Beyoncé music, a fate that was clearly too unthinkable for many.

Apple reports that the album has gone to No. 1 in 104 countries, which, by the U.S. State Department’s count, is the majority of the world. All of this amounts to Bey’s biggest sales week ever, which will easily give her the No. 1 slot on this week’s Billboard albums chart.

This will be her fifth straight debut atop the chart. The numbers will also make her the highest-debuting female artist this year, far outpacing the next contender, Katy Perry, whose Prism debuted with 286,000. The last lady musician to gin up sales this big was Taylor Swift, whose Red sold 1.2 million in its first week in November 2012.

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