Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ Ties for Most Weeks at No. 1 in 2020 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

Taylor Swift
Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift

Plus: Nas and The Killers debut in top 10.

Taylor Swift’s Folklore spends a fifth straight week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, tying Lil Baby’s My Turn for the most weeks atop the list in 2020. Folklore further becomes the first album to rule for five weeks in a row at No. 1 since Drake’s Scorpion also logged its first frames at No. 1 (July 14-Aug. 11, 2018-dated charts).

Folklore earned 98,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Aug. 27 (down 3%), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Sept. 5-dated chart (where Folklore spends a fifth week at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's website on Sept. 1. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of Folklore’s units earned in the newest tracking week, album sales comprise 52,000 (up 14%), SEA units comprise 45,000 (down 16%) and TEA units total 1,000 (down 60%).

In the latest tracking week, Swift continued to promote Folklore on streaming services by releasing groupings of the album’s songs into thematic “chapters.” She bowed the first such collection on Aug. 20 (in the previous tracking week), followed by two more on Aug. 23 and Aug. 26. In turn, these chapters got prominent placement on streaming services, appearing as the latest releases from Swift. Beyond the streaming promotions, Swift also sold more signed CDs via independent record stores (as she did in the previous week).

Folklore debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and has spent its first five weeks locked in the top slot. As noted above, it is now tied with Lil Baby’s My Turn for the most weeks at No. 1 in 2020. My Turn debuted at No. 1 on the March 14 chart and then returned for four straight weeks at No. 1 between June 20 and July 11.

The last album to notch five weeks in a row at No. 1 was Drake’s Scorpion, which also spent its first five frames in the lead (the entirety of its weeks at No. 1). If Folklore logs a sixth week at No. 1, it will have the most weeks at No. 1 for any album since Drake’s Views tallied 13 total weeks at No. 1 in 2016. Further, Folklore would be the first album with six weeks in a row at No. 1 since Views, which spent its first nine weeks at No. 1.

Specific to Swift’s catalog of albums, Folklore is her second album to string together five consecutive weeks at No. 1. She previously did it with her first No. 1, Fearless, which had a total of 11 weeks at No. 1 in 2008-09, with seven of those in a row. (She had, however, never before seen an album spend its first five weeks at No. 1.)

Back on the new Billboard 200, Pop Smoke’s former leader Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon is steady at No. 2 with 83,000 equivalent album units (down 4%). Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die, another previous No. 1, is a non-mover at No. 3 with 70,000 units (down 12%). The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical rises one spot to No. 4 with 51,000 units (down 9%).

Nas claims the chart’s highest debut of the week, as his new album, King’s Disease, bows at No. 5 with 47,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, SEA units total 28,000 (equating to 36.17 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs in the tracking week), album sales comprise 18,000 (boosted by merchandise/album bundles sold via Nas’ webstore) and TEA units equal 1,000.

King’s Disease is Nas’ 14th top 10 album. He tallied his first top 10 with It Was Written in 1996, which spent four weeks at No. 1. King’s Disease was released on Nas’ Mass Appeal label via Universal Music Group’s (UMG) indie arm Caroline. It’s the rapper’s first album after releasing records for more than two decades either via UMG’s Def Jam Recordings or Sony Music’s Columbia Records.

Lil Baby’s former No. 1 My Turn rises one spot to No. 6 on the new Billboard 200 with 43,000 equivalent album units earned (down 2%), while Rod Wave’s Pray 4 Love dips 6-7 with 40,000 units (down 17%).

The Killers arrive at No. 8 with the group’s new album, Imploding the Mirage, securing the rock band its sixth top 10 effort. Imploding the Mirage bows with 37,000 equivalent album units earned, with 30,000 of that sum in album sales. The remainder of its first week total comprise SEA units (7,000) and TEA units (1,000).

The Killers’ first top 10 came 15 years ago with its debut album, Hot Fuss. The set bowed on the list dated July 4, 2004 at No. 59 and eventually peaked at No. 7 on the May 7, 2005 chart.

Rounding out the latest top 10 on the Billboard 200 are two former No. 1s: DaBaby’s Blame It on Baby (slipping 8-9 with 34,000 equivalent album units; down 12%) and Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding (down 9-10 with 31,000 units; down 2%).

The top 10 is chock-full of albums distributed via the Universal Music Group family, as UMG titles populate nine out of the top 10. The lone non-UMG album is the Hamilton cast recording, which was released via Hamilton Uptown/Atlantic and distributed via Warner Music’s WEA.

The new chart marks the first time one company has so dominated the top 10 since UMG last managed nine out of 10, on the Nov. 17, 2018-dated list. That week, Metro Boomin’s Not All Heroes Wear Capes (released via Boominati/Republic) bowed at No. 1. The only non-UMG title in the top 10 that week was Travis Scott’s Astroworld (a Sony Music title, released via Cactus Jack/Grand Hustle/Epic) at No. 8.

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