Taylor Swift has broken another record, now holding the title for most cumulative weeks spent at Number One for a female artist on the Billboard 200.
Her recent album folklore returned to Billboard’s top spot this week after turning over another 87,000 units, nine weeks after release. With this, Swift has now totalled 47 weeks at Number One. Whitney Houston previously held the record, raising the bar back in 1987 with her second studio album, Whitney.
Taylor Swift is preceded by The Beatles (132 weeks), Elvis Presley (67), Garth Brooks (52) and Michael Jackson (51), as male artists hold the highest number of non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200.
Folklore was released back in July to widespread critical acclaim. Typical of the critiques was NME’s four-star review of Swift’s surprise album, which declared the record’s sonic shift an “extraordinary indie-folk makeover” and praising Swift’s collaborations with Bon Iver and The National’s Aaron Dessner.
More recently, Swift performed fan favourite “Betty” at the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards. The live recording was released on streaming services last week, opening the artist’s latest “chapter”, titled ‘folklore: the yeah I showed up at your party chapter’.
She performed the song on the stage of Nashville’s legendary Grand Ole Opry with an acoustic guitar and harmonica. It marked her first appearance at the ceremony in seven years.
The chapter is the fourth Swift has released since dropping folklore, following “the escapism”, “the sleepless nights” and “the saltbox house” chapters.
This segment of the album also features tracks “the 1”, “mirrorball”, “the last great American dynasty”, “invisible string” and lead single “cardigan”.
Earlier this month, folklore became the first album in four years to top the Billboard 200 for six weeks in a row. Swift’s achievement marked the longest time an artist had spent at Number One since Drake’s Views, which totalled 13 non-consecutive weeks back in 2016.