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Taylor Swift set a new record this week with, well, records. The vinyl kind.

Taylor Swift performs onstage at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Sept. 20, 2022.
Terry Wyatt
Getty Images
Taylor Swift performs onstage at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Sept. 20, 2022.

Taylor Swift, the millennial pop goddess whose latest album is now the first to surpass one billion Spotify streams in a single week, has smashed her own record when it comes to the sales of her physical albums as well.

Her Tortured Poets Department, released on April 19, took only five days to make history on Spotify. And in a typical overachiever move, Swift not only also sold the most vinyl albums ever in a week, but took only three days to do so. And the record she broke was her own.

Tortured Poets Department has sold more than 700,000 physical albums so far. Last year, about a million vinyl records were sold in the US, in total. Nearly 10 percent of them were Taylor Swift's.

Swift closed 2023 with five of the year's top 10 best-selling vinyl records, leading with 1989 (Taylor's Version), Speak Now (Taylor's Version) and Midnights. Each of them sold more than 500,000 physical copies.

These figures, it should be noted, have been hugely assisted by two factors. One is that LP sales were not rigorously tracked until the early 1990s by Soundscan. Before then, it's possible that other artists may have sold more than 700,000 physical albums in a week, but there's just no data to prove it.

The other factor is that Swift's albums are released in multiple editions. Many hardcore Swifties make a point of collecting them all. So, for example, a clear vinyl version of Tortured Poets Department with a bonus track is available only at Target. Other versions are only available through Swift's website.

Sales of all of them count towards Tortured Poets' total.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.

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