How Big Vinyl Sales Helped Billie Eilish’s New Album Hit No. 1

”Happier Than Ever” debuted at the top of the Billboard 200—and more than half of its sales were in physical formats, including vinyl LPs

It’s no surprise that Billie Eilish’s second album, Happier Than Ever, debuted atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. But what is astonishing is how extraordinary her physical sales were—particularly vinyl records.

The seven-time Grammy winner’s sophomore album sold 73,000 vinyl LPs, making it the second-highest weekly vinyl haul since at least 1991, the New York Times reports. (SoundScan—the predecessor to MRC Data, which is Billboard’s tracking arm—first began keeping track of data on music sales in ’91.) Only Taylor Swift, who sold 102,000 vinyl copies of her LP release Evermore after months of preorders, had more.

Released in an array of boxed sets and retail-exclusive variants, Happier Than Ever made 54 percent of its total sales in the United States on physical formats including the historic LP sales, 46,000 CDs, and nearly 10,000 cassette tapes. According to the Times, Happier Than Ever achieved the equivalent of 238,000 sales in the U.S. in total.

For Jim Henderson, co-owner of Amoeba Music, it wasn’t surprising that Eilish’s album acquired historic vinyl sales and nearly sold out at his Hollywood record store.

“There was a big push around it,” he tells Los Angeles. “It was a really anticipated release. And for us, she’s a local and [is] somebody who is rooted in the community so I think you get not only the casual pop fan, but also the kind of locals that grew up around her music and support her.”

Henderson says that on July 30, the day Happier Than Ever was released, a line of diverse fans who were eager to purchase the album formed outside the shop.

“I’ve got a ten-year-old daughter who’s a fan and I sometimes tend to associate musical taste through that lens, but then you come into the store, and you see it’s much more varied and that [Eilish’s] appeals to people on a pretty broad scale,” he says. Henderson wasn’t able to confirm how many copies they have left, but says there’s still “some” in stock.

Eilish, who Henderson says was a regular Amoeba pre-COVID, stopped by the shop on the day of her album release to take a photo in front of her window display.

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