It's been over two years since an album sold more than a million units in its first week — so the news that Taylor Swift's new LP Speak Now is poised to be the first since Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III came out in June of 2008 is happy news for the music industry. Final numbers won't be in until tomorrow morning, but Billboard.com suggests that the album could have the biggest debut since 50 Cent's Massacre sold 1,141,000 in March 2005.
Of course, it's nearly impossible to sell that many units without controversy, and Swift's habit of talking, however obliquely, about her relationships in song created strong advance buzz for her album. Subjects on Speak Now allegedly include former paramours John Mayer and Taylor Lautner. And true to form, Swift dodged questions about her love life on Ellen yesterday, according to MTV News.
Attempting to keep the focus on her album, she said, "It took two years to make this album, and at some point in the process, I made the conscious decision to write it by myself," she said. "With this album, it's been such an emotional process. I'd have nightmares in the middle of the night that Rolling Stone hated it. I was really nervous about it, because taking this on, you're taking a lot of ownership of whether people like it or don't."
Regarding Speak Now's "Dear John," Swift declined to say whether it is or isn't about Mayer. "It seems to be the pattern, yeah," she said of writing about boyfriends. She said she plans to "continue to never tell" who her songs are about.
She also dodged a question about whether she's dating Jake Gyllenhaal. DeGeneres asked who she might write a new song about and quickly posted a picture of Swift and the actor. "What?" Swift laughed. "I'm always optimistic about love. Yes, always, sometimes."
Swift performed two songs on the show, her hit "You Belong With Me," from her last LP, Fearless, and her new single, "Mine."
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