Taylor Swift says she is ‘overwhelmed’ as The Tortured Poets Department breaks records

Taylor Swift’s new album The Tortured Poets Department has debuted at No 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 2.61 million units, the highest for any album since Adele’s 25 in 2015.

The singer reacted to the news by posting a carousel of polaroids from the recording of the album on social media: “My mind is blown. I’m completely floored by the love you’ve shown this album.”

“2.6 million ARE YOU ACTUALLY SERIOUS?? Thank you for listening, streaming, and welcoming Tortured Poets into your life. Feeling completely overwhelmed.”

“I was already so fired up to get back to the tour but you doing THIS?? May 9th can’t come soon enough,” she added, referring to the resumption of her Eras Tour concerts in Paris on 9 May.

Billboard said traditional album sales, which include digital downloads, CDs, vinyl LPs and cassettes accounted for 1.914 million of the 2.61 million sales. This makes Swift’s by far the top-selling album of 2024, ahead of Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter, which has sold 228,000 units so far.

The album has sold 859,000 vinyl copies, the most sales of a vinyl album in the modern era.

The Independent critic Helen Brown awarded Swift’s album five stars, writing that it was “a terrific reminder of her storytelling powers”.

It’s Swift’s 14th chart-topping album, tying her with Jay-Z for the most No 1s by a recording artist, placing both slightly behind The Beatles’ 19 top albums.

The Tortured Poets Department also gives Swift the most No 1 albums on the Billboard 200 chart among female recording artists. Barring her 2006 debut album, which peaked at No 5, all of Swift’s albums have managed to reach the No 1 spot.

The album also broke records on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music after its 19 April release. It became the first album in history to reach more than 300 million streams in a single day on Spotify.

A smartphone displaying Taylor Swift’s new album on Spotify (AFP via Getty)
A smartphone displaying Taylor Swift’s new album on Spotify (AFP via Getty)

The Tortured Poets Department has been heavily anticipated since Swift announced it at the 2024 Grammy awards where she took home top prizes, including Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for 2022’s Midnights.

Fans expected the album would be heavily inspired by her six-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn. However, Swift took everyone by surprise as it emerged that her songs instead seemed to address her brief dalliance with The 1975’s frontmanMatty Healy.

The album features collaborations with rapper Post Malone and Florence Welch of English band Florence + the Machine. Physical copies of the album will also include an original poem from Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks.

Swift’s Eras Tour now begins its European leg, with four consecutive concerts in Paris, followed by shows in Sweden, Portugal, Spain, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Poland and Austria.