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Country sales drop 24 percent, Taylor Swift tops U.S. sales

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.

More news for Taylor Swift

CD reviews for Taylor Swift

Journey to Fearless DVD
Part Behind The Music style documentary and part concert film, Taylor Swift's new Blu-ray release offers an interesting hybrid approach to the typical live performance video - an approach that hits more than it misses. "Journey To Fearless" focuses on Swift's meteoric rise from aspiring grade-school singer/songwriter to award-winning country and pop megastar while sprinkling in live performances. Hardcore Swift fans will find a lot to love on this single-disc set (which is also »»»
Speak Now CD review - Speak Now
Taylor Swift has made the best CD of her young career with her fourth CD. The biggest difference is that Swift's singing, spotty on previous releases and live performances, is far far superior here. Swift wrote all 14 songs here, which like her other albums tend to deal with relationships that have gone south. Swift's songwriting always has been one of her strengths, and that continues to be the case here - both lyrically and musically. Put simply, Swift knows a lot about penning »»»
Fearless CD review - Fearless
Taylor Swift took the county world by storm with her huge selling debut and its five hit singles. With a huge marketing push and myspace, Swift was on her way. Kind of like an Avril Lavigne for the teen female country set. Sophomore slump? There's no indication of that. Swift once again writes her material - all 13 songs here with help sometimes from Liz Rose, Colbie Caillat and John Rich. Swift writes of what she knows about - relationships and teen love come and gone in songs speak to her fans. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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