The debut marks the largest week registered for any album since the Grammy-winning singer's own 2019 album, Lover

By Nicholas Rice
August 03, 2020 10:56 AM
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Taylor Swift is continuing to make history.

The 30-year-old pop singer's eighth studio album, Folklore, debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart after its July 24 release, making it her seventh album to debut at No. 1, following in the footsteps of her previous albums, Lover, Reputation, 1989, Red, Speak Now and Fearless. Swift's self-titled debut album previously peaked at No. 5 on the chart.

Per Billboard and according to data collected from Nielsen Music, Folklore garnered 846,000 equivalent album units for the week ending July 30, including 615,000 in pure album sales, 218,000 in streaming equivalent albums and 13,000 in track-equivalent sales.

The debut marks the largest week registered for any album since Swift’s own 2019 album, Lover, which debuted at No. 1 with 867,000 units. Folklore is currently 2020’s top-selling album.

Swift's latest LP ties her with Janet Jackson — who also has seven No. 1 albums — and the two follow behind Barbara Streisand and Madonna, who have 11 and nine No. 1 albums, respectively. Among all acts, The Beatles have the most No. 1 albums, with 19.

Taylor swift
Taylor Swift's Folklore
| Credit: Republic Records

The Grammy-winning songstress debuted her brand new album last month after announcing it only hours before.

Revealing the "surprise" project in July, Swift noted that a lot didn't go according to plan this year — and this album wasn't even an inkling in her wildest dreams.

"Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my eighth studio album, folklore," she wrote. "Surprise 🤗"

Taylor swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: Beth Garrabrant

The singer/songwriter shared that she "poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings" into Folklore, which she created while self-isolating.

"Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed," she wrote. "My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with."

Taylor swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: Beth Garrabrant

Swift previously wrote a personal essay about the project, explaining that the collection of songs is the product of letting her imagination run free as a form of escapism amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness," Swift wrote. "Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory. I've told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve."

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The singer/songwriter then explained some of the inspirations for the tracks, which include titles like "The Last Great American Dynasty" and "Betty," before she calls out rumors and gossip becoming fact, people she wishes she never knew, and simple visual cues like a spinning disco ball.

The album, which comes with a decidedly moody black-and-white aesthetic, features 16 tracks total.