Monday, January 5, 2009
– Country music sales suffered a 24-percent drop in 2008, the second biggest decline of any genre. A total of 47.7 million country CDs were sold, compared with 62.7 million in 2007.
The brightest star for country was Taylor Swift, who was the top selling artist in the U.S. last year, racking up sales of just over 4 million units. She also had the third and sixth best selling discs in the country. "Fearless," her sophomore studio effort, has sold 2,112,000 units since its release in November 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan, good for third behind Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" at almost 2.9 million units and Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" at 2.14 million units. Swift's self-titled debut sold a few thousand short of 1.6 million units in 2008. "Fearless" sold 225,000 digital copies. This was the first time one artist had 2 different albums in the Top 10 on the year end album chart.
That means that Swift's two main studio albums (she also has released a Target only CD and a holiday disc) sold almost 8 percent of all country albums sold in 2008.
Swift also was the second highest digital selling artist with almost 8.8 million units sold. Rihanna was number one with 9,941,000.
Sugarland was the only other country act to make it into the top 10 selling artists - at 8 - with 2,063,000 units sold.
Since the SoundScan era began in 1991, Garth Brooks is the number 1 selling artist at 68,143,000 units sold. George Strait is sixth with 40,619,000, Tim McGraw seventh at 37,591,000, Alan Jackson eighth at 36,520,000 and Shania Twain 10th with 33,707,000 units.
Twain's "Come On Over" remains the top selling disc of the Soundscan era with 15,473,000 units sold.