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Taylor Swift becomes 1st female artist with 4 albums on Billboard 200 chart

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Singer Taylor Swift has broken new ground. She is the first female artist to have four albums on the Billboard 200 chart. As NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas reports, this milestone comes as Swift has been deep in rerecording her early albums to keep artistic and financial control over her work.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: Taylor Swift released the album "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)" earlier this month. It quickly soared to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the chart that tracks the most popular albums in the U.S.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LONG LIVE (TAYLOR'S VERSION)")

TAYLOR SWIFT: (Singing) Long live the walls we crashed through. How the kingdom lights shined...

TSIOULCAS: "Speak Now" joins two other Taylor Swift rerecorded albums - "Midnights" and "Lover" - on that chart, along with her 2020 album "Folklore." Back in 2019, Swift said she would be rerecording and rereleasing all six albums she'd first made for her previous record label, Big Machine. She announced that decision after Big Machine sold her catalog to another company. Swift now financially and artistically controls these rerecorded albums, which are all being released with the subtitle "Taylor's Version." This is the first time in nearly 60 years that any living musical artist has managed this chart feat. Trumpeter Herb Alpert pulled it off in 1966. Prince had five albums in the top 10 in 2016, but that was just after his untimely death. Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR News, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF TAYLOR SWIFT SONG, "FEARLESS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.

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