Lady Gaga’s Born This Way shattered early projections, selling 1.1 million copies in its first week – more than any artist has managed since 50 Cent‘s The Massacre in 2005. A record 662,000 were digital sales, many of them from an Amazon.com promotion offering the full album for 99 cents. (Amazon paid a standard wholesale fee to Gaga’s label, losing about $7 per sale.) Asked if she felt that her album was worth more than 99 cents, Gaga recently said, “No, I absolutely do not, especially for MP3s. I applaud a company like Amazon for giving the opportunity to everyone to buy music.”
This story is from the June 23, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone.