Taylor Swift breaks records with ‘Tortured Poets’ release

It took less than a fortnight for Taylor Swift’s new album to become an all-timer.

Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” shattered a number of records upon its No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 album chart this week. Not only did it succeed with vinyl and physical media sales, but Swift’s new double-sided venture broke records on streaming platforms.

With “TTPD,” Swift notched her 14th No. 1 album on the Billboard charts, tying Jay-Z for the most chart-toppers by a solo artist. Only the Beatles have more No. 1 albums, with 19. And, in what’s clearly a sign of Swift’s sustained success, every one of her studio albums or rereleases since 2008’s “Fearless” has now debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

“My mind is blown,” Swift wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday. “I’m completely floored by the love you’ve shown this album. … Thank you for listening, streaming, and welcoming Tortured Poets into your life. Feeling completely overwhelmed.”

Swift’s album, which dropped on April 19, debuted with the equivalent of 2.61 million albums sales in the United States for the week ending on April 25, according to Billboard, which combined album sales, track listens, streams and other music consumption data to reach that number.

That total sales number included 1.914 million units sold from traditional album sales (like digital downloads, CDs, vinyl and cassettes), according to Billboard, whose numbers were confirmed to The Washington Post by Luminate, a U.S. music sales and chart data tracker.

For perspective, “TTPD” is now the top-selling album for 2024 with those 1.914 million units. The next closest? Beyonce’s “Cowboy Carter” with 228,000 copies.

Vinyl accounted for 859,000 sales of “TTPD” — the largest of any vinyl album in the modern era, per Billboard. That number was big enough for Swift to break her own record, which she set last fall when “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” sold 693,000 copies, according to Billboard.

The “TTPD” rollout had 19 variations, including nine different CDs, six vinyl records and four cassette tapes, not to mention four physical versions exclusively sold by Target (all of which Billboard took into consideration for its numbers). Plenty of options for her super-avid fan base to scrounge up during the preorder phase and after release.

Swift also dominated streaming charts, earning more than 891 million official streams, according to Billboard. The album became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single week and the first in the platform’s history to notch 1 billion streams in a single week (and did so within five days). Swift’s album also became the first in Spotify history to earn more than 300 million streams in a single day, too, with the album’s opener “Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)” now the most-streamed song in a single day on the platform.

Apple Music, meanwhile, called Swift’s 31-track anthology the “biggest pop album” of all-time based on its first-day streams. Similarly, on Amazon Music, “TTPD” set a record for release-date streams.

It’s not exactly shocking to see Swift’s album dominate the physical media and streaming charts. Since she first announced the album at the 2024 Grammys in February, Swift has been promoting the album through Easter eggs, short video clips, lyric teases, pop-up shops and a litany of preorder offers. She is also coming off a highly successful year that saw her become a billionaire. Her Eras Tour was an economic juggernaut nationwide that spawned a box-office-topping concert film.

Despite the record success, Swift’s latest album has faced mixed reviews. The Post’s Chris Richards wrote the album was “miserable and bottomless” with its 31 tracks. Others have remarked that the album shows Swift at her most raw and vulnerable, commenting on breakups, new love interests and even her complicated relationship with overbearing fans, who are already speculating about her next album (seriously).

Until the next chart-topper, Swift is due to revive her Eras Tour beginning Thursday, May 9, with a show in Paris.

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