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Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets section hits the top spot, breaking records as it goes

Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets section hits the top spot, breaking records as it goes

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Taylor Swift is in the middle of a purple patch, both literally and figuratively

Taylor Swift's latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, topped the UK charts with its biggest first-week sales in seven years.

The 31-track double album moved 270,000 UK chart units in seven days, surpassing her previous personal best of 204,000 units for her 2022 album, Midnight.

The last time an album sold more than that in its first week was in 2017, when Ed Sheeran's Divide sold 670,000 copies.

Swift now matches Madonna as the female artist with the most number-one songs in the UK.

We break down Taylor Swift's history: from her amazing Grammy records to reaching billionaire status and everything in between.

Both stars have had 12 chart-topping albums in their career. Only four bands can collect more trophies – The Beatles (16), The Rolling Stones (14), Robbie Williams (14), and Elvis Presley (13).

Bruce Springsteen also has 12 numbers, meaning Swift has also tied with The Boss.

Tortured Poets Oath was released last Friday as a 16-song standalone album. Two hours later, Swift surprised fans by releasing a second volume, titled The Anthology, containing 15 additional songs.

Overall, the project is a journey through two tumultuous years in the star's personal life, as she endured heartache, criticism, and the trappings of fame.

Fans either didn't mind any lukewarm reviews or didn't care. The album broke dozens of records in the first week of its release. Here's a tour of them:

The first album to reach 1 billion plays on Spotify in a week

Image source, Getty Images

By the end of Friday, Tortured Poets Oath had become the most streamed single on Spotify in a single day.

Five days later, it was streamed for the billionth time – the first album ever to achieve this feat.

Beat the Beatles

No other artist has achieved dozens of number one albums in the UK so quickly.

It took Swift 11 years and six months, starting with Red in October 2012. That beats the Beatles, who managed the feat in 14 years and one month between Please Please Me (May 1963) and The Beatles At Hollywood Bowl (June 1977).

Single-week vinyl sales record

In the United States, “The Tortured Poets” is expected to sell more than 1.8 million copies this week.

Of those sales, 700,000 were on vinyl – breaking Swift's record for the biggest sales week for a vinyl album since modern tracking began in 1991.

Its previous record, 693,000, was set just six months earlier, with the 1989 release (Taylor's Version).

Most streamed song on Spotify in one day

“Fortnight”, which features guest vocals from Post Malone, is the first single and first song on the Tortured Poets section.

The previous record was set on Christmas Eve 2023, when 23.7 million people played Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You.

Biggest broadcast week ever (US)

In its first six days, Tortured Poets achieved 799 million streams across all platforms in the USA.

This easily surpasses Drake's previous record of 746 million with his 2018 release, Scorpion.

On the UK Singles Chart, Swift also hit No. 1 this week with “Fortnight.” Two other Tortured Poets songs reached the top five – with the title track at number three and Down Bad at number four.

Swift was prevented from having any more entries on the Top 40 by a rule that only allows three songs from one artist to chart at the same time.

The Official Charts Company says this limit means new artists will not be denied the opportunity to gain attention.

Irish singer Hozier's “Too Sweet”, which was at No. 1 last week, has dropped to No. 2. Sabrina Carpenter's highly anticipated summer anthem Espresso rose one spot from sixth place to complete the top five.