A good rule of thumb for the 21st-century music business: Never count Taylor Swift out.
This week, Swift returns to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with “Folklore,” her surprise quarantine LP, claiming its seventh nonconsecutive week at the top. No other title has collected this many No. 1 weeks since Drake’s “Views,” which had a total of 13 four years ago. In her career, Swift has held the chart’s perch 47 times — beating out Whitney Houston’s 46 for a new record among female artists, according to Billboard.
Now in its ninth week out, “Folklore” had the equivalent of 87,000 sales in the United States, nearly double its haul from the week before, according to Nielsen Music. The album’s 40 million streams were down slightly from its 41 million the previous week, when Swift landed at No. 4. What propelled “Folklore” back to the top was its sales as a complete package — 56,000 units, compared to 13,000 last week — helped by merchandise bundles on her website and yet more autographed CDs.
Also this week, Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” holds at No. 2, while last week’s chart topper, YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s “Top,” fell two spots to No. 3. Alicia Keys’s latest, “Alicia,” opens at No. 4 with the equivalent of 62,000 sales, and Juice WRLD’s “Legends Never Die” is No. 5.