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Posted on Tue. Dec. 17, 2013 - 12:31 am EDT

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Beyoncé sets record with sales

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Beyoncé’s surprise album has sold surprisingly well: Her fifth solo effort sold more than 600,000 units in its first three days, setting a record for first-week domestic digital sales.

Beyoncé’s self-titled album was released early Friday morning exclusively on iTunes unbeknownst to the public. Apple said Monday that the album sold 617,213 in its U.S. iTunes Store. It sold 828,773 internationally.

“Beyoncé” broke the first-week digital sales record for an album in the United States. It also marks the singer’s best first-week numbers. It will debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart this week.

More cancel

More entertainers have canceled their appearances at SeaWorld Orlando following the recent release of a documentary that raises questions about the effects of captivity on whales.

Representatives for Trisha Yearwood and Martina McBride confirmed Monday that the country singers have joined the ranks of recording artists who have pulled out of performing at the park’s February concert series, Bands, Brew and BBQ.

They joined Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson and Heart in canceling their appearances.

‘Homeland’ record

The climactic season finale of Showtime’s “Homeland” has recorded some of the drama’s best viewership numbers.

The Nielsen company says 2.4 million people watched the end to the show’s third season in the episode’s first run Sunday night, with the total reaching 2.9 million when the night’s two reruns are added in. Those are the highest-ever first night numbers for “Homeland.”

‘Hobbit’ rules

The top five movies from the weekend box office:

1. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” $73.6 million

2. “Frozen,” $22.6 million

3. “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas,” $16 million

4. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” $13.7 million

5. “Thor: The Dark World,” $2.8 million

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Singer-actor Tommy Steele is 77. Actor Ernie Hudson is 68. “Hardball” host Chris Matthews is 68. Actor-comedian Eugene Levy is 67. Actor Bill Pullman is 60. Director-producer Peter Farrelly is 57. Singer Tracy Byrd is 47. Actress Laurie Holden is 44. Actor Giovanni Ribisi is 39. Actress Milla Jovovich is 38. Actress Jennifer Carpenter is 34. Actress Emma Bell is 27.


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