Taylor Swift becomes first artist ever to have top-selling US album of the year five times

It comes as 'Folklore' has finished as the top-selling album of 2020

Taylor Swift has become the first artist ever to have the top-selling album of the year five times in the US since data tracking first began in 1992.

The news comes as the singer’s ‘Folklore’ LP has finished as the top-selling album of 2020 in the US. Released in July, it sold 1.276 million copies through December 31, 2020, making it the only album to sell at least a million copies during the year, according to MRC Data (via Billboard).

Swift also logged the top-selling album of the year in the US in 2019 (‘Lover’, 1.09 million), 2017 (‘Reputation’, 1.9 million), 2014 (‘1989’, 3.66 million) and 2009 (‘Fearless’, 3.22 million).

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Over the past 12 years, just three of the top-selling albums have been by an act other than Swift or Adele. The latter had the top-seller in 2016 and 2015 (’25’, with 1.73 million and 7.44 million sold in those years, respectively) and in 2012 and 2011 (’21’, with 4.41 and 5.82 million).

Adele
Adele has had four of the top-selling albums in the US over the past 12 years. CREDIT: YouTube/SNL

The only other top-selling artists between 2009 and 2020 were Eminem (‘Recovery’, 2010; 3.41 million), Justin Timberlake (‘The 20/20 Experience’, 2013; 2.43 million) and the multi-artist soundtrack to The Greatest Showman (2018, 1.49 million).

Top 10 selling albums of 2020 in US:

1. Taylor Swift – ‘Folklore’ (1.276 million)
2. BTS – ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ (674,009)
3. The Weeknd – ‘After Hours’ (480,000)
4. Harry Styles – ‘Fine Line’ (420,000)
5. Billie Eilish – ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ (348,000)
6. Lady Gaga – ‘Chromatica’ (331,000)
7. Juice WRLD – ‘Legends Never Die’ (301,000)
8. Halsey – ‘Manic’ (301,000)
9. Eminem – ‘Music To Be Murdered By’ (287,000)
10. Taylor Swift – ‘Evermore’ (283,000)

Last month, Taylor Swift discussed how a songwriting shift on ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ gave her “a real breakthrough moment of excitement and happiness”.

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Speaking to Zane Lowe, Swift discussed how her old “diaristic” writing style affected her life. “There was a point that I got to as a writer who only wrote very diaristic songs that I felt it was unsustainable for my future moving forward,” she said.

“It felt too hot of a microscope. On my bad days, I would feel like I was loading a canon of clickbait, when that’s not what I want for my life.”

Meanwhile, Swift‘s ‘Betty’ has been reimagined as a pop-punk song on TikTok.

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