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Posted on
Apr 28, 2024

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Debuts At #1 On The Billboard 200 Albums Chart

As expected, Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department makes a gigantic debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated May 4), securing the superstar her 14th chart-topping album. She ties Jay-Z for the most No. 1s among soloists in the nearly-70-year history of the chart. Only The Beatles, with 19 No. 1s, have more.

The Tortured Poets Department launches with 2.61 million equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending April 25, with traditional album sales (purchases of digital download albums, CDs, vinyl LPs and cassettes) comprising 1.914 million of that sum. Of that sales figure, vinyl sales represent a staggering 859,000. The collected 31 songs on the deluxe edition of the album generated 891.34 million on-demand official streams.

Those eye-popping figures mark the largest streaming week for an album ever, the second-largest week for an album (by total equivalent album units earned) since the Billboard 200 began measuring by units in December 2014, the third-largest sales week (by traditional album sales) in the modern era (since Luminate began electronically tracking sales in 1991) and the largest sales week for an album on vinyl in the modern era.

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. The new May 4, 2024-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on April 30. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

Of The Tortured Poets Department’s first-week unit sum of 2.61 million, album sales comprise 1.914 million (a number bolstered by its availability across more than 20 different iterations of the album), SEA units comprise 683,000 (equaling 891.37 million on-demand official streams of the set’s 31 songs, on its deluxe edition) and TEA units comprise 14,000. (All figures are rounded.)

With 1.914 million sold, The Tortured Poets Department is instantly the top-selling album of 2024, year-to-date. The second-biggest selling album, counting weekly sales from January through the present, is Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter, with 228,000 copies sold in total.

Swift announced the album during the Grammy Awards on Feb. 4, and her official webstore began accepting pre-orders for the project that same day. The set was released on April 19, alongside its first single, “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone.

The Tortured Poets Department (abbreviated as TTPD) was initially released at midnight ET on April 19 as a standard 16-song digital download album, as well as an array of 17-song physical configurations (more details on the assorted versions later in this story). Two hours after the album’s release, Swift announced an expanded 31-song edition of the set and released it as a digital download and streaming album. She wrote: “It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album. I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

With a 14th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, Swift ties Jay-Z for the most chart-toppers among soloists. Overall, only The Beatles have more, with 19 leaders. All 14 of Swift’s full-length studio albums and rerecorded projects from 2008’s Fearless (her second album) through 2024’s The Tortured Poets Department have debuted at No. 1.

Here’s a look at the acts with at least 10 No. 1s on the Billboard 200, since the list began publishing on a regular, weekly basis in March 1956.

19, The Beatles
14, Jay-Z
14, Taylor Swift
13, Drake
11, Bruce Springsteen
11, Barbra Streisand
11, Ye (formerly Kanye West)
10, Eminem
10, Future
10, Elvis Presley


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