NEW YORK – Eminem's new psycho-thriller The Eminem Show sold 1.3 million copies its first full week out, according to sales-tracker SoundScan.
It's the first album to hit the million mark in its debut week since *NSYNC's Celebrity sold almost 1.9 million copies last summer.
It's not a personal best, however, for the bleached blond Detroit bad boy.
His last album, The Marshall Mathers EP, sold 1.8 million units its first week out — a record for a solo artist — and has now sold more than 8 million copies.
Eminem's label, Interscope, was forced to release the long-awaited disc 10 days early — on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend — due to a flood of pirated copies. So the album charted at the top the week before as well, selling 284,500 copies, with only word-of-mouth promotion and one official day of sales.
"It certainly has a chance to be the year's best-selling album," says Billboard's charts guru Geoff Mayfield. "There's nothing in the immediate future that threatens it."
While The Eminem Show was pirated and available on the Internet, it still managed to pull in the sales. "File swapping won't deter a blockbuster," Mayfield says. "But, it doesn't mean it won't deter album sales overall."
In other chart news it was a soft week. Labels steered away from launching big albums post-Memorial Day weekend. The soundtrack to Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, is the only new album in the top 100, making its debut at No. 99 with 11,000 copies sold.
Rounding out the top five were: P. Diddy & Bad Boy Record's We Invented the Remix (No. 2); Ashanti's self-titled disc (No. 3); Cam'ron's Come Home with Me, (No. 4) and Celine Dion's New Day Has Come (No. 5).