Taylor Swift is the most popular and successful musician in the music industry right now in most respects. She regularly dominates the Billboard charts, and it seems like she makes history any time she has a new album or song out. At times it can appear that no one can keep up with her…but that’s not quite true.
This week, Swift’s new album 1989 (Taylor’s Version) opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 1.6 million equivalent units shifted. That’s not just a hefty starting point, it’s one of the largest debuts in the chart’s history. Swift frequently tops the ranking of the most-consumed albums in the U.S. with gargantuan sums, but there’s still one record she’s chasing.
1989 (Taylor’s Version) earns the second-largest debut of all time for an album by a woman. Swift still comes in behind Adele, whose third full-length 25 not only beats that number, but somehow more than doubles it.
25 arrived at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in fall 2015 with 3.48 million album-equivalent units. That still stands as not only the most impressive debut among albums by female artists, but all musical acts. It is also more than twice the size of the new runner-up among women, 1989 (Taylor’s Version).
Swift’s album does change the ranking of the biggest debuts in the history of the Billboard 200 for titles by women. Before 1989 (Taylor’s Version), that honor belonged to another release by the same singer, as her 2022 album of original material, Midnights, launched at No. 1 with 1.578 million equivalents.