Taylor Swift’s Fearless (Taylor’s Version) returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart for a second nonconsecutive week atop the list. The album surges from No. 157 to No. 1 with 152,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 7 (up 1,931%), according to MRC Data. The set vaults back to No. 1 after the Oct. 1 release of a signed CD available only in Swift’s webstore and its vinyl LP. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) debuted at No. 1 nearly six months ago, on the April 24-dated Billboard 200 chart.
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 Oct. 16, 2021-dated chart [where Fearless (Taylor’s Version) returns to No. 1] will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Oct. 12. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’s 152,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 7, album sales comprise 146,000 (up 15,807%), SEA units comprise 6,000 (down 1%, equaling 8.72 million streams of the album’s tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible number.
Of the 146,000 copies sold for the week, CD sales comprise 77,000, while vinyl LP sales total 67,000. The album sold about 1,000 in cassettes and 1,000 in digital downloads, too. (The album was discounted at digital retail, which spurred a 268% increase in digital album sales, but only 1,000 copies sold for the week.)
Strikingly, 29% of the album’s to-date CD sales were generated in the week ending Oct. 7, concurrent with the availability of its signed CD. The signed CD was only sold via Swift’s webstore, for a limited time, during a pre-order window in late September. (Swift apparently signed so many copies, she “may never write the same again,” as her hand “is now frozen in the permanent shape of a claw.”) Of Fearless (Taylor’s Version)‘s 400,000 total album sales to-date, CD sales comprise 264,000 of that sum — with 77,000 of those CDs sold in the latest tracking week.
As for the vinyl LP sales of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), its 67,000 sold marks the fourth-largest sales week for a vinyl album since MRC Data began tracking music sales in 1991. Her own Evermore holds the record, with 102,000 sold in its first week of availability on vinyl (June 12-dated chart). The debut frames of Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (76,000; Sept. 4) and Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever (73,000; Aug. 14) are in second and third place, respectively.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was issued in two vinyl editions: a gold-colored version that was sold through Swift’s webstore and widely available to all retailers and a red-colored edition exclusive to Target.
With the rush in sales for Fearless (Taylor’s Version), its release-to-date sales now climb to 400,000 in the U.S. That makes it the No. 2-selling album of 2021, second only to Swift’s own 2020 release Evermore, which has sold 434,000 copies in 2021. The No. 3-selling album of 2021 is Rodrigo’s 2021 release Sour, with 378,000. Thus, Swift has both the Nos. 1 and 2-selling albums of 2021, as well as the year’s top-selling album released in 2021: Fearless (Taylor’s Version).
For good measure, Swift has three albums among the top 10-sellers of 2021, as Folklore is the No. 7 best-selling album of the year, with 228,000.
With the return of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) to No. 1 after nearly six months, it’s the first album to wait that long between weeks on top since last November, when Luke Combs’ What You See Is What You Get returned to No. 1 after nearly a year. (Earlier in 2021, on the June 12-dated chart, Swift’s own Evermore returned to No. 1 for a fourth week, after nearly five months, following its vinyl LP release.)
Further, with Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’s leap from No. 157 to No. 1, it has the largest positional jump to No. 1 since the April 12, 1997, chart, when The Notorious B.I.G.’s Life After Death rose 176-1 after street date violation sales enabled its debut on the chart a week early.
Lastly, Swift’s total weeks at No. 1, across all nine of her No. 1 albums, now rises to 54. She continues to have the third-most weeks atop the list dating to the chart’s 1956 start. The Beatles have the most, with 132, while Elvis Presley is in second place with 67.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is a re-recorded version of Swift’s No. 1 2008 album Fearless. The re-recorded album has 26 tracks, including re-recordings of the original 13 songs on Fearless, along with the six bonus songs added to a 2009 reissue of Fearless (dubbed the Platinum Edition) and the 2010 single “Today Was a Fairytale.” Beyond those 20 re-recordings, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) also has six newly recorded “from the vault” songs that were written for the original Fearless album but were never recorded and released until 2021.
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Drake’s Certified Lover Boy is a non-mover with 110,000 equivalent album units earned (down 19%). The album spent its first three weeks on the chart at No. 1.
Meek Mill collects his seventh top 10 album on the Billboard 200 as Expensive Pain debuts at No. 3. The set earned 95,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Oct. 7. Of that sum, SEA units comprise 82,000 (equaling 110.53 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs), album sales comprise 10,000 and TEA units comprise 3,000.
YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s Sincerely, Kentrell falls from No. 1 to No. 4 in its second week with 71,000 equivalent album units earned (down 48%). Lil Nas X’s Montero dips 3-5 (45,000; down 22%), Olivia Rodrigo’s former No. 1 Sour moves 5-6 (just over 43,000; down 5%) and Doja Cat’s Planet Her is down 6-7 (43,000; down 2%).
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s second collaborative album, Love for Sale, debuts at No. 8 on the Billboard 200. The pair’s first project, Cheek to Cheek, debuted at No. 1 in 2014.
Love for Sale is a covers collection of songs written by Cole Porter. Cheek to Cheek featured renditions of favorites from the American songbook by an assortment of songwriters. Love for Sale starts with 41,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 38,000; SEA units comprise 3,000 (equaling 3.85 million on-demand streams of the set’s songs) and TEA units comprise a negligible number.
Love for Sale marks Bennett’s sixth top 10 album on the Billboard 200, and Lady Gaga’s 10th top 10.
Bennett achieved his first top 10 in 1962 with I Left My Heart in San Francisco. It climbed from No. 11 to No. 7 on the Monoaural LP’s chart dated Oct. 6, 1962. (At the time, there were two main album charts, a Monoaural LP’s chart, and a Stereo LP’s chart.) Gaga’s first top 10 came on the March 7, 2009-dated Billboard 200, when The Fame rose 26-10.
With Love for Sale’s top 10 arrival, Bennett has a 59-year span of top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 – the longest span of top 10s for a living artist.
Only Nat “King” Cole, who died in 1965, has a greater span of top 10s among all acts: a 63-year and eight-month span between his first top 10, Love Is the Thing, in April of 1957 and his most recent top 10, The Christmas Song, in January of 2021.
The 95-year-old Bennett made his Billboard 200 debut with the simply-titled Tony on Feb. 23, 1957 (when the chart was known as Best Selling Pop Albums).
Rounding out the new top 10 on the Billboard 200 is a pair of former No. 1s: Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album falls 7-9 (40,000 equivalent album units; up 2%) and Kanye West’s Donda drops 4-10 (39,000; down 20%).