Taylor Swift is an American singer and songwriter. Her narrative song writing, which often takes inspiration from her personal life, has received widespread critical plaudits and media coverage. Her 2006 eponymous debut studio album marked the start of her career as a country singer, buoyed by the singles “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “Our Song”. Now Taylor Swift has become the first artist ever to have the top-selling album of the year five times in the US since data tracking first began in 1992.
Her album ‘Folklore’ which was released in July, sold 1.276 million copies through December 31, 2020. It the only album to sell at least a million copies during the year. Swift’s ‘Folklore’ LP has finished as the top-selling album of 2020 in the US.
Taylor Swift also discussed how a songwriting shift on ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ gave her “a real breakthrough moment of excitement and happiness”, last month. Speaking to Zane Lowe, Swift discussed how her old “diaristic” writing style affected her life. “There was a point that I got to as a writer who only wrote very diaristic songs that I felt it was unsustainable for my future moving forward,” she said.
“It felt too hot of a microscope. On my bad days, I would feel like I was loading a canon of clickbait, when that’s not what I want for my life”, she added.
Swift also achieved the top-selling album of the year in the US in 2019 (‘Lover’, 1.09 million), 2017 (‘Reputation’, 1.9 million), 2014 (‘1989’, 3.66 million) and 2009 (‘Fearless’, 3.22 million). She also had been the top-seller in 2016 and 2015 (’25’, with 1.73 million and 7.44 million sold in those years, respectively) and in 2012 and 2011 (’21’, with 4.41 and 5.82 million).
Over the past 12 years, just three of the top-selling albums have been by an act other than Swift or Adele. The only other top-selling artists between 2009 and 2020 were Eminem (‘Recovery’, 2010; 3.41 million), Justin Timberlake (‘The 20/20 Experience’, 2013; 2.43 million) and the multi-artist soundtrack to The Greatest Showman (2018, 1.49 million).