On Thursday, July 23rd, Taylor Swift surprised fans with the announcement of her eighth studio album, ‘folklore,’ dropping the next day. Despite breaking Swift‘s usual record cycle with just 11 months since her last project ‘Lover,’ this new surprise attack strategy has yet to hinder her commercial success in the slightest. Pop Crave takes a look at some of the records and achievements ‘folklore‘ has earned the songstress so far.
Biggest Opening-Day Streams for a Female Album on Spotify
‘folklore‘ raked in nearly 80.6 MILLION streams in its first day on Spotify – the biggest day for an album by a female artist (surpassing Ariana Grande‘s ‘thank u, next,’ which opened with 70.1 MILLION streams last year), and the second biggest in the platform’s history (only behind ‘Scorpion‘ by Drake which brought in 132 MILLION on its release day in 2018). Spotify’s charts were flooded with tracks from the album – a sight most-pleasing for the Swifties. The success of the album only begs the question of what her streaming stats could have looked like if she didn’t withhold her discography from the platform until 2017 – the most-streamed female ever, perhaps?
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 25, 2020
Second Biggest Opening-Week Streams for a Female Album on Spotify
With such a massive first day, the LP was almost bound to replicate the same success with its first week numbers – and it did. ‘folklore‘ accumulated over 337.4 MILLION plays in its first seven days, the second biggest opening-week for an album by a female artist. It also gives Swift her second album in the Top 4 biggest debuts for female albums on the platform, following ‘Lover‘ opening with 251 MILLION last year (an improvement of 86 MILLION streams!)
The four biggest opening-weeks for albums by female artists on Spotify:
- ‘thank u, next‘ – Ariana Grande: 374.9 MILLION
- ‘folklore‘ – Taylor Swift: 337.4 MILLION
- ‘WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?‘ – Billie Eilish: 276.6 MILLION
- ‘Lover‘ – Taylor Swift: 251 MILLION
Seventh Consecutive #1 Album on the Billboard 200
Unsurprisingly, ‘folklore’ entered the US albums chart straight at #1 with a whopping 846,000 units moved, earning Swift her seventh chart-topping album. Her only album to miss the top spot was her self-titled debut which peaked at #5 and spent a huge 275 weeks on the chart. She joins elite company with this debut, as only three acts before her have debuted at least seven consecutive studio albums at #1 (Eminem, Kanye West and Dave Matthews Band).
Fourth Female Artist to Score Seven #1 Albums
Seven may be a lucky number – she becomes just the fourth female artist to send that many albums to the top (after Barbra Streisand, 11; Madonna, 9; and Janet Jackson, 7). With neither her creative nor commercial power showing any signs of simmering down anytime soon, it looks as though she is in good stead to move up this ranking with future releases, too.
Biggest First-Week Sales of 2020 in the US
‘folklore‘ scored the biggest opening week of the year (so far) in the US with its 846,000 debut. Not only is this the biggest debut of the year, but also the biggest opening since her very own ‘Lover‘ bowed at #1 with 867,000 units last year. Her past five albums (‘Lover,’ ‘reputation,’ ‘1989,’ ‘Red‘ and ‘Speak Now‘) each also scored the biggest opening-week sales of their respective release years – this is becoming a tradition for Swift. As if that wasn’t enough, the three biggest album sales weeks in the US in the past four years have all been scored by Swift with her last three studio efforts.
.@TaylorSwift13 has scored the three biggest album sales weeks in the US in the last four years.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 2, 2020
Biggest-Selling Album of the Year in the US (in pure sales)
Of the 846,000 units that ‘folklore’ debuted with, 615,000 were comprised of pure sales, making it the biggest-selling album of 2020 so far, in just a week. It surpasses BTS‘ ‘MAP OF THE SOUL : 7‘ which has sold 574,000 copies in the country to date.
First Artist in HISTORY to Sell 500,000 Copies in a Single Week with Seven Different Albums
This 615,000 opening marks the seventh album by Swift to sell over half a million in just a week – every album she has released since ‘Fearless‘ has done so. Breaking her tie with Eminem, she becomes the first artist in history to have that many albums sell so quickly.
Fourth-Biggest US Streaming Week of the Year, Biggest Non-Rap Album
Along with its massive 615,000 copies sold in its first week (pure sales), the album also brought in a colossal 289.85 MILLION on-demand audio streams in the US. There have only been three weeks where albums have garnered more streams this year – Juice WRLD‘s ‘Legends Never Die‘ opened with 422.63 MILLION and Lil Uzi Vert‘s ‘Eternal Atake‘ raked in 400.42 MILLION and 348.72 MILLION in its first and second weeks. Notably, those two titles are rap – the most dominant genre on streaming – making the huge streaming numbers for an indie-folk album nothing short of impressive. No other album outside of the rap genre has garnered more streams in a single week this year.
Second-Biggest US Streaming Week for a Female Album Ever
It also earns the second biggest week ever for an album by a female artist, only behind Ariana Grande‘s ‘thank u, next,’ which opened with 307.07 MILLION streams in February 2019.
First Artist in HISTORY to Debut a Song & Album at #1 Simultaneously
“cardigan” enters the Hot 100 at #1, making Swift the first act ever to debut at the summit of the Hot 100 and the Billboard 200 in the same week. Notably, the track also becomes her sixth chart topper – she’s the ninth female artist to send that many songs to the top.
Taylor Swift becomes the first artist in HISTORY to debut a song and an album at #1 on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 simultaneously.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 3, 2020
First Female Artist to Debut Two Songs in the Top 5 Simultaneously
“cardigan” is not alone in its high debut on the chart – “the 1” enters not-so-far behind at #4, marking the first time in history that a female act has debuted two songs in the chart’s Top 5 in the same week.
Fifth Female to Debut Multiple Songs at #1
As well as her sixth #1 overall, “cardigan” also earns Swift her second #1 debut (following 2014’s “Shake It Off“). She becomes just the fifth female artist in history to have more than one song open in the pole position, following Ariana Grande (4), Mariah Carey (3), Britney Spears (2) and Lady Gaga (2). Overall, she’s the eighth artist to achieve this feat, as Drake, Justin Bieber and Travis Scott have also launched multiple tracks atop the chart.
Sixth Female Artist to Chart Three Songs in the Top 10 Simultaneously
The Top 10 debuts of “cardigan” (#1), “the 1” (#4) and “exile” (#6) make Swift just the sixth female act to land three songs in the chart’s Top 10 in the same week. Ashanti, Adele, Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande and Cardi B are the only other women to achieve the feat – overall, she’s the twenty-second act to do so.
Sixth-Most Top 10 Hits in HISTORY, Third Among Females
With three new Top 10 singles to her name, Swift moves up the rank of artists with the most of all-time, tying her with Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey for the sixth most in history. She now ranks only below Drake (40), Madonna (38), The Beatles (34), Rihanna (31) and Michael Jackson (30) – seems like pretty good company to be in. The tie with Carey also places her in third among female acts.
Extends Her Record as the Female With the Most Top 10 Debuts
The Pennsylvania-born singer now has a total of 19 Hot 100 Top 10 debuts to her name – the most for any female act. The only artist she ranks below is Drake, with 25. The rapper recently debuted two new DJ Khaled collaborations in the Top 10, so this could be a tight race for the top title in the future.
Most Hot 100 Entries Among Women, Fourth Overall
All 16 tracks from ‘folklore‘ chart on this week’s Hot 100, bringing her career total to a massive 113 entries. She has now charted the most songs among all female acts, and the fourth-most overall – only behind Drake (224), Glee Cast (207) and Lil Wayne (169).
.@TaylorSwift13 now has the most Hot 100 entries of any female artist, and ranks fourth overall.
She has charted a total of 113 songs. pic.twitter.com/xg1mHg1Klq
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 3, 2020
Twentieth #1 on the Digital Song Sales Chart, Extends Record for Most Chart-Toppers
“cardigan” sold 71,000 copies in its first week, landing it atop the list and making it Swift‘s milestone twentieth #1. She extends her record for the most songs to top the chart, with her closest competition, Rihanna, following with 14.
It’s safe to say that ‘folklore‘ has been an incredible success for Swift, and only further solidifies her status as a musical legend and commercial powerhouse. Anyone doubting her power after this surprise release might need to check themselves (and/or the stats).