Things were a little different for Britney Spears in 2007 as the release of her fifth studio album, Blackout, neared. Her private life had long since overtaken her professional achievements in the headlines and she was dealing with personal struggles that culminated just a few months later in the singer being physically removed from her home by police, placed in an ambulance and escorted to the UCLA Medical Center.
Despite the chaos in her private life, Blackout received widespread critical acclaim. The notoriously indie-minded folks at Pitchfork declared it “superb modern pop,” while Rolling Stone has argue that it “may be the most influential pop album of the past five years.”
Five years is an interesting timeframe … because that’s just about how long it took the fan-favorite set to go platinum. Billboard revealed the statistic this weekend while answer fan questions about the career album sales of Spears and Demi Lovato relating to their new gigs on “The X Factor.” The music pub did not detail exactly when* the set, which dropped in October 2007, finally crossed the million mark, but in discussing the achievement, the Celebrity Cafe did reveal something we never knew before … that Spears’ army of fans actively rallied behind the album last year intent to get Blackout certified platinum.
In July of last year, with sales hovering somewhere around 990,000 copies, fans held what was called “Blackout Purchase Week,” an event that did result in an album sales spike that narrowed the gap to one million even further.
A little less than a year later*, Nielsen Soundscan data indicates that Blackout has officially become her sixth million-plus-selling studio album, leaving only her seventh album, last year’s Femme Fatale, out of the club with around 755,000 copies sold. Spears’ 2004 Greatest Hits: My Prerogative also enjoys platinum status, having sold 1.4 million copies.
So congrats, Brit! Hopefully the news will spice up all those long hours she’s putting in on the set of “The X Factor.”
*Ed note: Because there was a little confusion, Billboard clarified that Blackout actually passed 1 million in sales the week ending July 24, 2011. So it looks like “Blackout Purchase Week” was quite effective!