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  • Writer's picturePOPVRSE

"Midnights" is breaking records left and right

By Anthony Cesario

“Ask me why so many fade, but I’m still here.”

The years go by, and Taylor Swift keeps winning. Despite being sixteen years into her career in an industry that treats female artists like novelty items with the shortest of shelf lives, she continues to defy all odds and reach unthinkable peaks with the release of each new album. And since the release of Midnights just over a week ago, Taylor has been breaking record after record with lightning speed.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been scrolling through your TikTok For You Page this past week and finding it completely dominated by Midnights. It seems like every other video is a Taylor Swift audio – and it’s not just one song from Midnights going viral; it’s every single one of them. The line, “It’s me, hi / I’m the problem, it’s me” from “Anti-Hero” has been turned into a meme that even numerous celebrities are embracing; groups of friends are making their own “Karma” music videos; the chorus of “Bejeweled” has sparked its own dance trend.

I have truly never seen anything like it – and neither has the Billboard Hot 100. Just hours ago, it was announced that Taylor Swift has become the first artist in the chart’s 64-year history to occupy the entire Top 10. The record-breaking Top 10 is spearheaded by “Anti-Hero,” Swift’s ninth No. 1 song, following “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” last year. This brings her to a total of 40 Top 10 hits in her career, surpassing Madonna (38) as the female artist with the most Top 10 hits in the chart’s history, and second only to Drake (59). The entirety of Midnights’ standard edition has also debuted in the Top 15, with “Mastermind” at No. 13, “Labyrinth” at No. 14, and “Sweet Nothing” landing at No. 15.

But these are just a few of the many records set by Midnights. In its first week, the album sold a whopping 1.578 million units. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is; for some perspective, Swift’s previous opening week record was 1989 (2014), with 1.287 million copies sold in its first week. It clocks the biggest sales week for an album since her own reputation (2017), and makes her the first artist in history to have five albums debut with more than a million units sold in their first week. It is the second biggest debut by a female artist in history, after only Adele’s 25. It also broke the record on Spotify for most streams in its opening day (with 186 million) and the record for most Spotify streams within a week (with more than 700 million). Whew – is anyone else out of breath, or is it just me?

Dozens more records have been set by Midnights so far (according to Consequence Sound, the total is currently sitting somewhere around 74), but these should be proof enough that we are witnessing yet another one of Taylor Swift’s many peaks. Keeping track of Midnights’ longevity will prove incredibly interesting; I am eager to see what legacy, if any, this album will leave when we look back at it in another 5 or 10 years. For now, at least, I’ll go back to streaming it on repeat for the hundredth time…



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