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Album Sales: Jason Aldean's 'Night Train' chugs to No. 1; Taylor Swift outsells it in one day

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In any other week, the first-week sales of Jason Aldean’s new album Night Train would be a very big deal.

The disc, a follow up to his double-platinum smash My Kinda Party, sold 409,000 copies in its first seven days — a huge number by any measure, and the second-best debut sales week of 2012 behind Mumford & Sons’ Babel, which moved 600,000 copies in its opening frame.

Unfortunately for Aldean, news of his chart-topping feat arrives less than a day after projections for Taylor Swift’s Red blew up the internet. Swift, who sold over 500,000 copies of Red in its first day, is expected to sell over 1 million copies in her first week, which would make her the first woman in history to have two albums sell more than 1 million copies in their first weeks. Yowza.

But let’s get back to Aldean’s accomplishment. Night Train is the rocking country star’s first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. He formerly peaked at No. 2 in 2010 with My Kinda Party, but was kept out of the top spot, funnily enough, by Taylor Swift, whose Speak Now was reigning atop the chart.

Considering My Kinda Party became an enduring hit, ultimately moving 2.8 million copies, I’m expecting Night Train to be a freight train with buyers. After all, Aldean is selling out arenas across the country, and he (along with everyone else releasing albums in the final quarter of 2012) will get a big boost from the holiday buying rush. READ FULL STORY

2012 Billboard Music Awards: 20 essential takeaways from the show

Like most music awards shows, the Billboard Music Awards are so not about the statuettes that are doled out. The show — which aired live last night on ABC from the MGM Grand Hotel, with hosts, Modern Family stars Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell — is typically more about everything but the awards: performances, tributes, collaborations, and other sundry craziness.

Hell, even the fashion — hello to Miley Cyrus’ barely-there suit jacket — is more important than the prizes! And that was no different this year. Just a handful of the 46 awards were actually given out during the show (LMFAO dominated), which was jolted to life with performances from Katy Perry, Cee Lo Green, and Linkin Park; tributes to Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, and Stevie Wonder; a collaboration between Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys; and a heartfelt speech by Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Here are 20 essential takeaways from the evening:

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