Teen "American Idol" runner-up David Archuleta makes an impressive debut near the top of the pop chart this week with his first album, but he couldn't come close to America's teen sweetheart Taylor Swift, who pummeled the competition with her sophomore album "Fearless."
Swift's album sold 592,000 copies during its first week in stores, according to Billboard, the highest for a country release since the veteran Eagles sold 711,000 copies of "Long Road Out of Eden" a year ago. It's also the best debut for any female artist this year.
"I found out about my album going to No. 1 when my mom woke me up this morning," Swift said Wednesday. "The final numbers are beyond my wildest dreams -- I never expected this!"
Archuleta's album landed at No. 2 on the national sales chart with 183,000 copies. He also came in second last season to David Cook, whose post-"Idol" album "David Cook" was released Tuesday and will chart next week.
How hot is Swift, who turns 19 next month? Not only does she have the fourth highest debut sales week of 2008, but she also holds the distinction of charting seven singles this week on Billboard's Hot 100, six of them Thursday.
-- Randy Lewis