The official numbers are in and Kanye West’s album Graduation has emerged as the United States’ #1 album on the Billboard 200 Chart.
West’s album Graduation moved over 957,000 copies its first week in stores, besting 50 Cent’s album Curtis, which sold 691,000 copies.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, West also earned the largest opening-week sales total in over two years, since 50 Cent’s album The Massacre opened with 1.1 million copies in March 2005.
Billboard reports that Graduation also snagged the largest week for a digital album download with 133,000 copies, breaking the record of 102,000 set by the Maroon 5’s album It Won’t Be Soon Before Long.
“When we decided to go head-to-head with 50 Cent, we knew the rivalry was going to make a lot of noise,” admitted Island Def Jam Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid. “But now we’ve made history. We couldn’t b e more thrilled to have orchestrated such a monumental first week success. Kanye has made an incredible album and I have always maintained that great music will always win.”
Def Jam CEO Jay-Z, who ironically appears on the “I Get Money” remix featuring 50 Cent and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, was excited about the first week sales.
“This is a great day for Kanye West and Roc-A-Fella Records and a fantastic day for Hip-Hop and artistry,” Jay-Z told AllHipHop.com in a statement. “It’s a good sign that heartfelt, sincere and honest music can do these types of numbers.”
In related news, 50 Cent is already planning to release his fourth studio album before the end of the year titled Before I Self Destruct.