One Direction's 4th No. 1 album in a row
BRITISH boy band One Direction became the only group to score four consecutive No. 1 debuts on the United States Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, ousting Taylor Swift from her chart-topping reign.
Their latest album, Four, sold 387,000 copies in its first week, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.
It follows the band's three previous albums, 2011's Up All Night, 2012's Take Me Home and last year's Midnight Memories, all of which opened at No. 1 on the Billboard chart.
Sales of Four may have been boosted after One Direction won three prizes at Sunday's televised American Music Awards, including the night's top prize for Artist of the Year. The group also performed the new song, Night Changes, at the ceremony.
The band also made history on music-streaming platform Spotify by scoring the most first-week streams after Four was streamed 11.6 million times in the US and 30 million times worldwide. The news comes after Swift made a highly publicised move to take her music catalogue off the popular service.
Swift's 1989 dropped to No. 2 this week with 214,000 sales. The album became the biggest debut of the year after opening with 1.3 million copies, and held the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart for three consecutive weeks.
1989 has sold more than 2.2 million copies, making it the second-biggest selling album this year, behind only Disney's Frozen soundtrack with 3.6 million copies.
Other new entries in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart this week include Canadian rockers Nickelback at No. 4 with No Fixed Address and metal group In This Moment at No. 8 with Black Widow.
For the week ended Nov 23, Billboard said a total of 5.5 million albums were sold, up 4 per cent from the comparable week last year. Year-to-date sales rounded out at 215 million, down 12 per cent from the same period last year.
This is the last week Nielsen SoundScan will compile the Billboard 200 album chart from sales figures alone. From next week, the album chart will reflect online streaming and digital track sales to accurately reflect which records are most in demand.