(April 20, 2024).  Taylor Swift is already on track to have the biggest No. 1 debut in over eight years on the Billboard 200 when her first-week points are tallied a week from this Sunday (on April 28 for the chart dated May 4).

Based on first-day streaming, download and sales estimates, The Tortured Poets Department is expected to move more than two million album equivalent units in its first week, more than any album has done in a seven-day window since Adele’s 25 moved more than three million in November 2015.

The two-million figure for TTPD is one I expect to go even higher with April 20 being National Record Store Day, where vinyl albums traditionally sell at their highest clip (and there are numerous vinyl variants of TTPD on the market, including a special clear vinyl version).

In doing so, T-Swizzle will give her Swifties more than enough to crow about as TTPD becomes her 14th No. 1 album, moving her out of a tie with Drake for third place and into one with Jay-Z for second-place behind only the Beatles (19).  She already leads all women in this department as Barbra Streisand currently ranks second with eleven No. 1 LPs.

But the records Tay Tay could match or break go far beyond moving up on the all-time No. 1 albums leaderboard, she is currently trending to do big things on the singles side as well. 

With the expected debut of “Fortnight” atop the Hot 100, with one of the biggest chart point totals since Taylor’s own “Anti-Hero” in 2022, she will move into a tie for 7th-place all-time with Madonna and the Supremes who each have 12 No. 1 singles.  Only the Beatles, Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley, Rihanna, Drake and Michael Jackson have more.

But the more astonishing feat will be the sheer number of songs she’s poised to place on the chart.

All 31 of TTPD’s tracks could enter the Hot 100 the week of May 4, which, when joined with the currently charting “Cruel Summer” (assuming it’s not pushed out to recurring status) would give her 32 concurrent Hot 100 songs.  That ownership of nearly one-third of the chart would easily be a new record for females (behind only Morgan Wallen who had 37 simultaneous entries in 2023), one that wouldn’t have even been fathomable in the pre-streaming/downloads days of the 20th century when physical singles had to be purchased in order for a song to even be eligible to chart. 

But there’s more.  

As of April 20’s projections, the first twelve songs on TTPD are currently tracking to occupy the top 12 positions on the Hot 100, which if it happens would break the current record of one artist — again, Taylor Swift — owning the top 10 slots.  She pulled that feat in late 2022 when songs from previous studio effort Midnights impacted the list.

Because the twelve songs are currently trending to debut on the chart in roughly the same order in which they appear on the album, some pundits might speculate that the current listenership is more curiosity-based, reflecting streamers’ apparent loss of interest — or patience — as they track through the album.  

It’s a common phenomenon in the streaming era, where an album’s first tracks get much of the attention, which naturally wanes as consumers become preoccupied with something else.

Still, twelve songs by one artist — regardless of which tunes they are — dominating the chart’s top twelve positions has never happened before and it seems only an artist of Taylor’s or Drake’s caliber can even dream of pulling off such a milestone.

And assuming the song currently projected to debut at No. 2 — the album’s title track — ends up peaking there, Taylor will tie Drake as the act with the most No. 2 songs in history with ten (ahead of Madonna who has six).

Taylor would also move up the following lists behind only Drake, assuming all 31 songs debut: most Hot 100 entries (263, vs. Drake’s 329), most top-40 hits (count pending song placement), most top-10 hits (59 to 77), most top-five hits (36 to 41), and most No. 1 debuts (seven, tied with Ariana Grande, vs. Drake’s nine), again the last three feats based on current chart projections.

But there’s even more.

If both TTPD and “Fortnight” debut on their respective charts at No. 1, Swift will become the only act to have had a No. 1 single and a No. 1 album every year this decade so far.  She’s topped the album charts with Folklore and Evermore (both 2020), Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (TV) in 2021, Midnights (2022)Speak Now (TV) and 1989 (TV) both in 2023, and now TTPD in 2024.

What’s more, with both the albums and singles from them simultaneously debuting at No. 1 (except for songs from Fearless (TV) and Speak Now (TV)), Taylor will become the first act to have six pairings of albums and their songs simultaneously debuting atop the two main Billboard charts.  (She’s currently the only artist with five such pairs.)

But here’s the real zinger.

With the huge lead that “Fortnight” is projected to have at No. 1 in its first week, it is quite possible that the song could remain at No. 1 a second week.  If it does, it will become the first song in history with the title “Fortnight” to actually spend a fortnight at No. 1 on the Billboard chart.

Given that only one song in the past 39 weeks has spent more than a fortnight at the top consecutively, that might be the most admirable task of them all. 

Congratulations to Taylor Swift in advance on what will no doubt be a bountiful week for her tortured soul.  


DJRob (he/him) is a freelance music blogger from the East Coast who covers R&B, hip-hop, disco, pop, rock and country genres – plus lots of music news and current stuff!  You can follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @djrobblog and on Meta’s Threads.

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