Evermore, released December 11, debuted on the Billboard 200 in the No. 1 slot, making Swift the third musical act (and first woman) to drop two chart-topping records in 2020. But even more historic, the album’s lead single, “willow,” is now at the top of the Hot 100, making Swift the first artist to simultaneously debut at the top of both lists twice.
To be clear, just months ago, her surprise eighth album, folklore, debuted on the Billboard 200, and single “cardigan” launched atop the Hot 100. This means she was also the first artist to simultaneously debut at the top of both lists ever in the charts’ 62-year history, and now, she's the first artist to do it twice.
The Billboard 200 dates back to 1956, and the Hot 100 originated two years later. On December 5, BTS became the second act to achieve this same feat.
Swift’s new albums feature songs co-written by her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, the melancholy production stylings of The National’s Aaron Dessner, and collaborations with Bon Iver. They’re a clear departure from her more recent, equally historic pop projects — they quickly became some of her most critically acclaimed ones yet. In a recent Rolling Stone interview with Paul McCartney, she talked about throwing some of her own rules out the window.
“I had originally thought, ‘Maybe I’ll make an album in the next year, and put it out in January or something,’ but it ended up being done and we put it out in July,” she said. “I used to put all these parameters on myself, like, ‘How will this song sound in a stadium? How will this song sound on radio?’ If you take away all the parameters, what do you make? And I guess the answer is folklore.”
But folklore and evermore made history in other ways, too. With her second 2020 album, Swift broke a new record for the shortest gap between two chart-topping records by a woman. And, as if that’s not enough, fans are convinced there’s still a third quarantine album on the way.