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Chart Beat

Taylor Swift Ties Career-Best With 11th Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 With ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Plus: Megan Thee Stallion's Megan debuts in the top three, while Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter gallops back to the top 10.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

Beth Garrabrant

Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department hits an 11th consecutive and total week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 (dated July 13) — tying 1989 and Fearless as her longest-leading No. 1 albums. The last album by a woman to spend 11 weeks at No. 1 was 1989, which notched 11 nonconsecutive weeks atop the list in 2014-15. If Poets reaches a 12th week at No. 1, it will be the first album by a woman with at least 12 weeks at No. 1 since Adele’s 21 rang up 24 nonconsecutive weeks on top in 2011-12.

The Tortured Poets Department earned 114,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending July 4 (down 1%), according to Luminate. The album debuted atop the chart dated May 4 and has yet to yield the No. 1 slot.


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The Tortured Poets Department is the first album by a woman to spend 11 weeks in a row at No. 1 since the Whitney Houston-led soundtrack to The Bodyguard strung together 13 straight weeks at No. 1 (of its total 20 nonconsecutive weeks atop the list) from December 1992 to March 1993.

Also in the top 10 of the latest Billboard 200 chart, Megan Thee Stallion collects her sixth top 10 as Megan bows at No. 3, while Beyoncé’s chart-topping Cowboy Carter gallops 50-10 following the release of a deluxe vinyl edition.

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 July 13, 2024-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on July 9. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

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Of The Tortured Poets Department’s 114,000 equivalent album units earned, SEA units comprise 78,000 (down 10% — it’s No. 1 on Top Streaming Albums for an 11th week; its SEA units equal 102.09 million on-demand official streams of the deluxe edition’s 31 songs), album sales comprise 35,000 (up 27%; it’s No. 1 on Top Album Sales for a fifth nonconsecutive week) and TEA units comprise less than 1,000 (down 22%). The album’s sales grew 27% in the tracking week thanks largely to two new CD variants of the set that shipped to customers. The two CDs, which were sold exclusively in Swift’s webstore, were briefly available to pre-order in early June for $7.99 each. Both CDs contain the standard album’s 16 songs and an acoustic bonus track (one includes “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone, and one includes “Fresh Out the Slammer”).

The Tortured Poets Department matches Whitney Houston’s 1987 album Whitney as the only two albums by women to spend their first 11 weeks at No. 1. All 11 of the latter’s total weeks at No. 1 were from its debut atop the chart.

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Just two other albums have spent at least their first 11 weeks at No. 1: Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time (first 12 weeks at No. 1, of its total 19 weeks at No. 1 in 2023-24) and Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life (first 13 weeks at No. 1, of its total 14 weeks at No. 1 in 1976). (For context, today it’s common for albums to debut at No. 1. However, before 1991, when the Billboard 200 began utilizing Luminate’s electronically monitored tracking information, only six albums debuted at No. 1, including Whitney and Songs in the Key of Life.)

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Swift is only the third act with three or more albums to spend 11 or more weeks at No. 1, following Whitney Houston (her self-titled album with 14 weeks in 1986, Whitney with 11 in 1987 and The Bodyguard soundtrack with 20 in 1992-93) and The Beatles (Meet the Beatles! with 11 in 1964, A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack with 14 in 1964, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with 15 in 1967 and Abbey Road with 11 in 1969-70).

Swift adds her 80th career week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, extending her record among soloists. (Elvis Presley has the second-most among soloists, with 67.) The total encompasses her 14 No. 1 albums. (She’s tied with Jay-Z for the most No. 1s among soloists.)

At No. 2 on the latest Billboard 200, Morgan Wallen’s chart-topping One Thing at a Time rises 3-2 with 74,000 equivalent album units (up 1%). It’s also the last album to spend at least 11 weeks at No. 1, prior to Poets. Wallen’s album logged 19 total weeks at No. 1 in 2023-24 (spending its first 12 in the top slot).

Megan Thee Stallion scores her sixth top 10-charting effort on the Billboard 200 as Megan enters at No. 3 with 64,000 equivalent album units earned. That marks the biggest debut, by units, for any rap album released by a woman in 2024. It’s also the first top 10-charting rap set by a woman released this year.

Of the album’s 64,000 units earned in its first week, SEA units comprise 47,000 (equaling 62.67 million on-demand official streams of the set’s 18 songs), album sales comprise 16,000 and TEA units comprise 1,000. The album was announced on June 2 and was preceded by a trio of charting songs on the Billboard Hot 100: “Cobra” (peaking at No. 32 last November), “Hiss” (No. 1, February) and “Boa” (No. 39, May). The set’s sales were aided by its availability across three CD variants (all with the same audio content, just different covers; all exclusively sold in the artist’s webstore) and five digital download album variants (a standard widely available edition; one exclusive to Amazon, with a bonus track; two with alternate covers; and one with a printed digital signature on its cover from Megan Thee Stallion. The latter three were exclusive to the artist’s webstore.)

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Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard and Soft is a non-mover at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 (63,000 equivalent album units earned; down 10%) and Chappell Roan’s The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess reaches the top five for the first time, rising 6-5 (60,000; down 2%). With Swift, Megan Thee Stallion, Eilish and Chappell Roan at Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, there are four albums by women, or women-led acts, in the top five for the first time in over a year. It last happened on the March 25, 2023-dated list, when the all-women group TWICE was No. 2 with Ready to Be, followed by Miley Cyrus’ Endless Summer Vacation (No. 3), SZA’s SOS (No. 4) and Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito at No. 5. (Wallen’s One Thing at a Time was No. 1 that week.)

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Wallen’s former leader Dangerous: The Double Album rises 7-6 on the new Billboard 200 (44,000 equivalent album units; up 1%), Peso Pluma’s Éxodo falls 5-7 (just over 40,000; down 37%), Shaboozey’s Where I’ve Been, Isn’t Where I’m Going climbs 10-8 (40,000; down 1%) and Noah Kahan’s Stick Season rises 11-9 (39,000; up less than 1%).

Beyoncé’s former No. 1 Cowboy Carter charges back into the top 10 (50-10) after a deluxe edition of the album was released on vinyl. The set surges with 39,000 equivalent album units earned (up 133%), with 24,000 of that sum in traditional album sales (up 1,673%). Vinyl sales comprise a little over 23,000 of that figure (up 3,551%).

Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes a thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious or unverifiable is removed, using established criteria, before final chart calculations are made and published.

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell at an interview with iHeartRadio for Billboard Canada Women in Music on June 19, 2024

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