Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Back at No. 1; She Ties an Elvis Chart Record



Taylor Swift‘s “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” has returned to the top spot on the Billboard 200, as Nicki Minaj‘s “Pink Friday 2” drops to No. 2 in its second week out. The Swift release is spending its fourth non-consecutive week at No. 1, and its re-ascendency in the last full week before Christmas is no surprise, as vinyl editions of her records have been enjoying blowout sales among gift buyers.

Her dominance in the latest Luminate data puts her in sight of setting a record. This marks the 67th week that Swift has had an album in the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200, which ties her with Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most weeks spent on top of that chart. If “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” continues to hold on at No. 1 on the next chart a week from now — which common sense says she has a nearly 100% chance of doing — then Swift will move ahead of Elvis and hold that record all by herself.

She still won’t hold the high-water mark for any artist atop the Billboard 200, though. If we take “solo” out of the equation, the all-time record is held by the Beatles, who have placed themselves at No. 1 on the album chart for 132 weeks, roughly double the number that Swift and Presley are at right now. So it’s going to take her a few years, and more than just a couple more “Taylor’s Versions,” to beat the Beatles. But she’s only 34 and quite prolific, so nobody should assume the Beatles’ record is safe forever.

Swift’s and Presley’s 67 weeks spent at No. 1 puts them far ahead of the rest of the pack. In fourth place for the most weeks at No. 1 is Garth Brooks, who reigned for 52 weeks, followed in fifth place by Michael Jackson, who did it for 51.

Swift’s chart leader moved 136,000 units this week, between album sales and equivalent streaming data, per Luminate — a 25% uptick from the previous week. “Pink Friday 2,” from Minaj, landed a still-impressive 100,000 units in week two, after previously bowing with 220,000.

Swift’s dominance is further marked by her having a total three albums in the top 10 at present, with “1989” being joined by “Midnights” at No. 3 (75,000 units) and “Lover” at No. 7 (60,000 units).

The rest of the top 10 is rounded out by Michael Buble’s “Christmas” at No. 4 (70,000 units), Morgan Wallen at No. 5, Drake at No. 6, and Nat King Cole, SZA and Mariah Carey in the Nos. 8-10 spots.

Billboard did not immediately break out Swift’s vinyl or overall album sales in reporting the chart news for the week. But it’s clear she’s dominating all physical sales.

Hits Daily Double released its own projections for how many albums Swift sold during this latest chart week. According to that site, “1989” sold roughly 85,000 copies as a full album for the week — with most of those presumably in the vinyl format favored by Swifties — while “Midnights” sold 38,000 and “Lover” sold 27,000. Further down the rankings, “Folklore” sold 23,000 albums, per Hits, and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” sold 25,000 copies — not counting streaming results, in any of these instances.

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” came out of the gate strong, with Swift’s highest first-week sales ever, when results came in following the Oct. 27 release. It debuted with 1.653 million units … 1.359 million of which were pure album sales, a number that was unanticipated even for Swift, in an “era” when almost almost all new album debuts have streaming accounting for the vast majority of consumption.


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