Taylor Swift Is Hot as Ever, 17 Years After Her Debut Album: See Where Other Chart Titans Stood at the Same Point


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Seventeen years ago today, Big Machine Records released the eponymous debut album by a 16-year-old country singer. No one could have predicted the impact that Taylor Swift would have on the music world.

Taylor Swift entered the Billboard 200 at No. 19 in Nov. 11, 2006 issue as the week’s seventh-highest new entry. It opened behind the Hannah Montana soundtrack, which debuted at No. 1 that week, as well as new albums by My Chemical Romance, John Legend, Jibbs, Alabama and Lil’ Boosie.

The album was a sleeper smash. It reached its No. 5 peak in January 2008 (more than a year after its release) and remained on the chart for a total of 284 weeks. Only one Swift album, 1989, has remained on the chart longer (462 weeks). Every subsequent Swift studio album has reached No. 1.

Just in the past 12 months, Swift has logged eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 (with two albums, Midnights and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), contributing to that total) and nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (thanks to two songs, “Anti-Hero” and “Cruel Summer”).

How does Swift’s longevity compare with that of other chart titans? To find out, we looked at the career trajectories of the top 20 artists on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Artists chart, which combines albums and singles success. Swift is No. 8 on the list, which was unveiled in November 2019. (Expect Swift to move up the list when it is next updated.)

Here’s where every artist in the top 20 on that list stood 17 years after the release of their U.S. debut album.

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