Taylor Swift puts an impressive stamp on the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated May 6), as the superstar has 10 albums on the list at the same time. And all of them are in the top 100 of the 200-position tally, which ranks the most popular albums of the week in the United States.
Among those 10 albums, nine are in the top 50, eight sit in the top 40, and three are in the top 10.
Since the Billboard 200 was combined from its previously separate mono and stereo LP charts into one all-encompassing list in August 1963, Swift is:
- the first living female artist with at least three albums simultaneously in the top 10
- the only act to have at least eight albums simultaneously in the top 40
- the only act with at least nine albums simultaneously in the top 50
- the only living artist with at least 10 albums simultaneously in the top 100
On the Billboard 200 dated May 6, Swift charts the following titles:
No. 3 – Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions
No. 4 – Midnights
No. 10 – Lover
No. 12 – Folklore
No. 21 – 1989
No. 22 – reputation
No. 27 – Red (Taylor’s Version)
No. 29 – Evermore
No. 41 – Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
No. 66 – Speak Now
Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions debuts at No. 3 with 75,000 equivalent album units earned (all from vinyl LP sales) in the week ending April 27, according to Luminate, following its buzzy release on vinyl for the first time, for Record Store Day 2023 (April 22).
The May 6-dated Billboard 200 chart reflects the tracking week of April 21-27 – a little over a month after Swift launched her career-spanning The Eras Tour on March 17. The stadium-filling trek has aided exposure of her catalog of music, as she performs dozens of hits songs from most of her albums each night of the tour. Below Long Pond in the top 10, Midnights, her most recent studio album, ranks at No. 4, followed by Lover at No. 10. The latter was released in 2019 and, due to the pandemic, is now being spotlighted by Swift on tour for the first time. (She had planned to tour in support of Lover in 2020, but COVID-19 forced her to cancel the shows.)
While the Billboard 200 has ranked the country’s most popular albums each week for decades, dating back to its March 1956 inception, the chart’s rules have changed dramatically over the years – making it easier for some albums to linger on the tally in recent years than in decades past.
For example, older albums (known as catalog albums, generally regarded as those at least 18 months old) were mostly barred from charting on the Billboard 200 from mid-1991 through the end of 2009. Then, at the end of 2014, the chart transitioned from a pure-album sales formula to a multimetric methodology – and adding streaming activity. Because of the changes in the chart’s methodology (primarily the inclusion of streaming data) and the ability for catalog albums to chart, many albums now continue to rank on the list (including Swift’s bevy of titles) for a much longer time than albums in previous… eras (pun intended), when the chart was effectively a sales-only chart for current and/or new releases.
Three in the top 10: The last act with at least three albums in the top 10 at the same time before Swift this week was Prince, following his death, when he had five albums in the top 10 on the May 14, 2016, chart (he also placed three in the top 10 on the May 7, 2016 chart). Before Prince, Led Zeppelin had three in the top 10 on the June 21, 2014, chart with a trio of deluxe reissues of the band’s first three albums. And before that, Whitney Houston did it, after her death, on the March 17 and March 10, 2012-dated charts (three in the top 10 on each chart). And prior to Houston, one must scroll all the way back to Herb Alpert on the Dec. 24, 1966-dated list, when he had three in the top 10 (a feat he achieved more than a dozen times that year, led by four for a week that April; he and Prince are the only acts with more than three top 10s in a single week since August 1963).
10 in the Top 100: In terms of 10 albums in the top 100, that’s been done only twice since August 1963 – Swift on the latest chart, and Prince with 15 albums on the May 14, 2016, chart.
10 Albums on the Billboard 200 at the Same Time: Swift has now placed at least 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart at the same time – twice. She did it earlier this year on the March 4-dated chart. The last act before Swift to notch 10 albums on the list at the same time was Prince, following his death in 2016, including a one-week record 19 (May 14, 2016).
Here are the acts who have placed at least 10 albums on the Billboard 200 chart at the same time (since August 1963):
Taylor Swift – May 6, 2023 (10 albums)
Taylor Swift – March 4, 2023 (10)
Prince – May 28, 2016 (13)
Prince – May 21, 2016 (10)
Prince – May 14, 2016 (19)
David Bowie – Jan. 30, 2016 (10)
The Beatles – March 1, 2014 (13)
Whitney Houston – March 10, 2012 (10)
The Beatles – Dec. 4, 2010 (14)
The Beatles – Jan. 9, 2010 (11)
Prince, Bowie and Houston’s achievements came shortly after they died, following a surge of interest in their respective catalogs from music fans.
The Beatles placed 13 titles on the March 1, 2014, chart thanks in large part to gains reaped from the CBS-TV concert special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, which aired that Feb. 9 (and repeated Feb. 12). The special celebrated 50 years of The Beatles’ success in the U.S., specifically commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s first live American TV performance on The Ed Sullivan Show (Feb. 9, 1964).
The Beatles also logged 14 and 11 titles, respectively, on the Dec. 4 and Jan. 9, 2010-dated charts. On the Dec. 4, 2010, list, The Beatles logged 12 re-entries and two debuts, following the band’s belated bow in the iTunes Store. (The group had been a holdout to selling digital downloads of its albums and songs on the service until Nov. 16, 2010.)
As for The Beatles’ feat on the Jan. 9, 2010, chart, that week came shortly after the Billboard 200 began allowing older (catalog) albums to appear, beginning with the Dec. 5, 2009-dated chart. It was also not long after the band’s catalog was digitally remastered for CD reissues in September 2009.
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, compiled by Luminate. 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. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.