Taylor Swift Surpasses Whitney Houston for Most Weeks at No. 1 Among Women in Billboard 200’s History
Taylor Swift’s Folklore album returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, collecting a seventh nonconsecutive week atop the tally. In doing so, Swift surpasses Whitney Houston’s longstanding record, among women, for the most cumulative weeks at No. 1, across all of her chart-topping albums.
Swift’s total weeks at No. 1 now stands at 47, one more than Houston’s tally of 46. Folklore earned 87,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 24 (up 97 percent), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
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. 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 Oct. 3-dated chart (where Folklore returns to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Sept. 29. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Folklore’s 87,000 units earned in the tracking week ending Sept. 24, album sales comprise 56,000 (up 339 percent), SEA units comprise 30,000 (down 4 percent) equaling 39.8 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs) and TEA units total 1,000 (up 38 percent).
Folklore’s fortunes perked up in the newest tracking week, as Swift sold more signed CD copies of the album through her official web store and via independent record stores (as she’s done in previous weeks) and also issued more merchandise/album bundles in her webstore.
She additionally profits from the release of a new live version of the album’s single “Betty,” as performed on the Academy of Country Music Awards (held on Sept. 16). The live rendition was released to YouTube shortly after the awards, while it reached digital retail and other streaming services on Sept. 18. For tracking purposes, the new version of “Betty” is combined with its original version.
Swift also promoted Folklore on streaming services with another release (on Sept. 21) of a thematic “chapter” of songs from the album (as she’s done in previous weeks). Such collections of songs get prominent placement on streaming services, appearing as the latest release from Swift.
As noted above, Folklore returns to No. 1 for a seventh nonconsecutive week on top. In doing so, Swift’s total weeks at No. 1 across all seven of her chart-topping albums — now stands at 47, a new record among female artists. She surpasses Whitney Houston’s sum of 46 weeks at No. 1. (Houston held the record for the most weeks at No. 1 among women since 1987.)
The all-time leaders with the most weeks at No. 1 are The Beatles, with 132 weeks at No. 1 across their record 19 chart-topping albums. The male act (and solo artist) with the most weeks atop the list is Elvis Presley, with 67.
Here’s a roundup of every act with at least 30 weeks at No. 1, since the Billboard 200 chart began publishing on a regular weekly basis on March 24, 1956: The Beatles (132 weeks), Elvis Presley (67), Garth Brooks (52), Michael Jackson (51), Taylor Swift (47), Whitney Houston (46), The Kingston Trio (46), Elton John (39), Fleetwood Mac (38), The Rolling Stones (38), Harry Belafonte (37), The Monkees (37), Prince (35), Adele (34), Eminem (34), Eagles (30) and Mariah Carey (30).
Folklore additionally continues to have the most weeks at No. 1 for any album since Drake’s Views ruled for 13 nonconsecutive weeks in 2016. Folklore also continues to have the most weeks at No. 1 among all non-R&B/hip-hop titles, and albums by women, since Adele’s 25 landed 10 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 in 2015-16.