Taylor Swift is continuing to break records with her latest album, Folklore, which returned to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week. That gives the project its seventh non-consecutive week atop the chart, surpassing Whitney Houston's record for the most cumulative weeks at No. 1 among female artists, which Houston set in 1987. Swift now has 47 cumulative weeks at No. 1, one up from Houston's 46. Adele is behind them with 34 weeks from her two No. 1 albums, 21 and 25.
Folklore, which Swift surprise-released in July, became the Grammy winner's seventh No. 1 album on the chart as well as the best-selling album of the year. All of Swift's studio albums save for her eponymous debut have made it to No. 1, giving her the highest tally of any female artist just ahead of Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Britney Spears, who have six No. 1 albums each. Houston's first No. 1 album was her 1986 eponymous debut, and she later reached the top of the chart with Whitney, The Bodyguard soundtrack and I Look to You. Among all artists, The Beatles have the most cumulative weeks at No. 1 with a staggering 132 weeks.
Surprise 🤗 Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my 8th studio album, folklore; an entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. Pre-order at https://t.co/zSHpnhUlLb pic.twitter.com/4ZVGy4l23b— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 23, 2020
Since its release, Folklore has continued to sell, including signed copies sold through Swift's official webstore and independent record stores, as well as merchandise/album bundles. The 30-year-old also recently released a live version of current single "Betty" from her recent ACM Awards performance, her first performance at the country awards show in seven years.
In addition to Folklore's success, the album's lead single, "Cardigan," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Swift the first artist in history to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard 200 in the same week.
"In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result," Swift wrote on social media of the album after its surprise release. "I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. Now it’s up to you to pass them down."