Taylor Swift’s Folklore collects its sixth week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the album with the most weeks atop the list in nearly four years. The set earned 90,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 3 (down 8 percent), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
Folklore now has the most weeks at No. 1 since Drake’s Views ruled for 13 nonconsecutive weeks on the charts dated May 21-Oct. 8, 2016. Plus, Swift ties Whitney Houston for the most cumulative weeks at No. 1 among women — more on that in just a moment.
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 Sept. 12-dated chart (where Folklore spends a sixth week at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Wednesday, Sept. 9 (a day later than usual, due to the Monday, Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday in the U.S.). For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Folklore’s units earned in the tracking week ending Sept. 3, album sales comprise 51,000 (down 2 percent), SEA units comprise 38,000 (down 15 percent) and TEA units total 1,000 (down 14 percent).
Swift Ties Whitney Houston: With Folklore’s sixth week at No. 1, Swift’s cumulative weeks at No. 1, across all of her seven chart-topping albums, now rises to 46. That ties Whitney Houston for the most weeks atop the chart by a woman in history. Houston landed four No. 1 albums: her self-titled debut (14 weeks at No. 1 in 1986), her sophomore effort Whitney (11 in 1987), The Bodyguard soundtrack (20 in 1992-93) and I Look to You (one week in 2009).
After Swift and Houston, Adele has the next-most weeks at No. 1 among women, with 34 weeks from her two No. 1s: 21 (24 in 2011-12) and 25 (10 in 2015-16).
The all-time leader with the most weeks at No. 1 is The Beatles, with 132 weeks at No. 1 across their 19 leaders.
Swift Leads 2020: With a sixth week at No. 1, Folklore surpasses Lil Baby’s My Turn for the most weeks at No. 1 in 2020. In addition, Folklore has the most weeks in a row atop the list since Views spent its first nine weeks at No. 1 in 2016.
Folklore also has the most weeks at No. 1 for any non-R&B/hip-hop album, or an album by a woman, since Adele’s 25 tallied 10 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 between Dec. 12, 2015, and March 12, 2016. Folklore also has the most weeks in a row for either a non-R&B/hip-hop set or an album by a woman since 25 notched its first seven weeks at No. 1 (Dec. 12, 2015 – Jan. 23, 2016).
Swift Meets The Beatles: Folklore is Swift’s fifth album to log at least six weeks at No. 1, making her one of just two acts to have at least five albums each with six weeks at No. 1. Only The Beatles also managed the feat.
Swift previously spent six weeks at No. 1 with, in descending order of weeks at No. 1, 1989 (11 in 2014-15), Fearless (11 in 2008-09), Red (seven in 2012-13) and Speak Now (six in 2010-11). The Beatles did it with 12 of their 19 No. 1s albums: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (15 weeks in 1967), the A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack (14 weeks in 1964), Meet the Beatles! (11 weeks in 1964), Abbey Road (11 weeks in 1969-70), Beatles ’65 (nine weeks in 1965), the Help! soundtrack (nine weeks in 1965), The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) (nine weeks in 1968-69), the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack (eight weeks in 1968), the 1 greatest hits compilation (eight weeks in 2000-01), Beatles VI (six weeks in 1965), Rubber Soul (six weeks in 1966) and Revolver (six weeks in 1966).
Following Folklore on the new Billboard 200 are a pair of former No. 1s, as Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon holds at No. 2 (77,000 equivalent album units earned, down 6 percent) and Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die is a non-mover at No. 3 (64,000 units; down 9 percent).
Metallica debuts at No. 4 with the rock band’s new live effort S&M2, a co-billed project with the San Francisco Symphony. The set, which is a sequel to 1999’s No. 2-peaking S&M, bows with 56,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that figure, album sales total 53,000, SEA units equal 3,000 (translating to 3.6 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks in the tracking week) and TEA units represent a negligible figure.
S&M2 is Metallica’s 11th top 10 album, and also makes the act the first group (and third act overall) with at least one new top 10 album in each of the last five decades.Metallica logged one top 10 in the ‘80s (…And Justice for All, No. 6 in 1988), five in the ‘90s (the No. 1 self-titled set in 1991; Load, No. 1 in 1996; Reload, No. 1 in 1997; Garage Inc., No. 2 in 1998 and S&M, No. 2 in 1999), two in the ‘00s (St. Anger, No. 1 in 2003 and Death Magnetic, No. 1 in 2008), two in the ‘10s (Metallica: Through the Never, No. 9 in 2013 and Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, No. 1 in 2016) and now one in the ‘20s with S&M2.
The only other acts with at least one new top 10 album in each decade from the ‘80s through ‘20s are James Taylor and Ozzy Osbourne.
Katy Perry’s new album Smile launches at No. 5 with 50,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales total 35,000 (aided by merchandise/album bundles sold via Perry’s official webstore), SEA units equal 14,000 (translating to 19 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs in the tracking week) and TEA units total 2,000.
Smile is Perry’s fifth top 10 effort, following Witness (No. 1 in 2017), Prism (No. 1, 2013), Teenage Dream (No. 1, 2010) and One of the Boys (No. 9, 2008).
With Swift and Perry at Nos. 1 and 5, respectively, it’s the first time two albums by solo women (or acts led by or comprised entirely of women) have been in the top five together in seven months. It last occurred on the Feb. 8-dated chart, when Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was No. 3 while Halsey’s Manic was No. 4.
The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical slips 4-6 with 48,000 equivalent album units (down 6 percent), while Lil Baby’s former No. 1 My Turn descends 6-7 with 42,000 units (down 3 percent). Rod Wave’s Pray 4 Love dips 7-8 with 36,000 units (down 9 percent) and DaBaby’s previous No. 1 Blame it On Baby is steady at No. 9 with 32,000 units (down 5 percent).
The final debut in the top 10 is from the production collective Internet Money, whose B4 the Storm arrives at No. 10 with 31,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that starting sum, SEA units equal 30,000 (translating to 41.1 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks in the tracking week), album sales total a little under 1,000 and TEA units equal a negligible sum.
B4 the Storm is a feature-laden affair, boasting guests such as Future, Juice WRLD, Wiz Khalifa, The Kid Laroi, Lil Tecca, NAV, Swae Lee and Trippie Redd.