Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ debuts at No. 1 on Billboard


Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated 11th studio album will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart tomorrow, marking Swift’s 14th debut at the top of the chart and capping the album’s record-breaking first week.
Taylor Swift’s 31-track album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” became the year’s best-selling album after just one week. GETTY IMAGES FOR TAS RIGHTS MANAGEMENT
Key facts
  • With “The Tortured Poets Department” No. 1 debut, Swift now ties Jay-Z for the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums, though Swift is still chasing The Beatles, who have 19 chart toppers.
  • “The Tortured Poets Department” had 2.61 million equivalent album units, with each unit equal to one album sale, 10 tracks sold from an album or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid audio or video streams of songs from the album.
  • In just one week, Swift’s album easily became the top-selling album of the year, Billboard reported, with the second best-selling album—Beyoncé’s “Cowboy Carter”—selling just 228,000 copies, Billboard reported.
Crucial quote

“My mind is blown,” a statement on Swift’s social media said after Billboard announced the album debuted at No. 1. “2.6 million ARE YOU ACTUALLY SERIOUS?? Thank you for listening, streaming, and welcoming Tortured Poets into your life. Feeling completely overwhelmed.”

Surprising fact

More than half of Swift’s equivalent album units came from traditional album sales. Of the 2.61 million units, 1.914 million came from purchases of digital download albums, CDs, vinyls and cassettes, Billboard reported.

Forbes valuation

We estimate Swift to be worth about $1.1 billion as of Sunday. The pop star became a billionaire last October, in large part due to her Eras Tour, which was the first tour in history to gross $1 billion.

What we don’t know

If Swift will incorporate any songs from the new, 31-track album into her ongoing Eras Tour. Swift will take the stage again after a nearly nine-week break on May 9 in Paris, and fans are eager to know whether they’ll hear live versions of any of the new songs.

After Swift re-released “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” she added one track to the setlist, but other than that there have been minimal changes.

Key background

Swift released “The Tortured Poets Department” on April 19 at midnight EDT, and announced it was actually a double album—with 15 additional songs—at 2 a.m. on April 19.

The album, which explores themes of grief, heartbreak and coping with her fame, was released to mixed reviews, with Rolling Stone describing the music as “wildly ambitious and gloriously chaotic,” but the New York Times suggesting Swift needs an editor, saying “the themes, and familiar sonic backdrops, generate diminishing returns.”

Regardless of reviews, the album broke countless streaming and sales records—many of which were already held by Swift—in its first week, becoming the first album on Spotify to surpass 1 billion streams, the most-sold vinyl album in a week and the most-streamed album on Amazon Music ever on its first day alone.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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