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Taylor Swift becomes first artist to break Billboard record

Taylor Swift has smashed several records since she surprised fans with the release of her eighth studio album “folklore” last month, and she can add another to her lengthy list after becoming the first artist to debut at number one on both the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts in the same week.

The 30-year-old singer’s surprise new album “folklore”, which she dropped last month, hit the summit of the Billboard 200 album chart, and now her lead single ‘cardigan’ has reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Taylor’s new album has smashed several records since its release less than two weeks ago, including achieving 80.6 million Spotify streams in one day – the most ever for a female artist.

Taylor delighted her fans with the surprise release of her eighth studio album, and she revealed her imagination had “run wild” during the coronavirus pandemic, and that ‘folklore’ “is the result”.

Explaining where her inspiration had come from during the Covid-19 lockdown, she wrote: “It started with imagery. Visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity.

“Stars drawn around scars. A cardigan that still bears the scent of loss twenty years later.

“Battleships sinking into the ocean, down, down, down. The tree swing in the woods of my childhood. Hushed tones of ‘let’s run away’ and never doing it.

“The sun drenched month of August, sipped away like a bottle of wine. A mirrored disco ball hovering above a dance floor.

“A whiskey bottle beckoning. Hands held through plastic.

“A single thread that, for better or for worse, ties you to your fate.

“Pretty soon these images in my head grew faces or names and became characters.

“I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known, or those I wish I hadn’t.

“An exiled man walking the bluffs of a land that isn’t his own, wondering how it all went so terribly, terribly wrong.

“An embittered tormentor showing up at the funeral of his fallen object of obsession.

“A seventeen-year-old standing on a porch, learning to apologise.

“Lovestruck kids wandering up and down the evergreen High Line. My grandfather, Dean, landing at Guadalcanal in 1942.

“A misfit widow getting gleeful revenge on the town that cast her out.

“A tale that becomes folklore is one that is passed down and whispered around. Sometimes even sung about.

“The lines between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible.

“Speculation, over time, becomes fact. Myths, ghost stories, and fables. Fairytales and parables. Gossip and legend. Someone’s secrets written in the sky for all to behold.

“In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness.

“Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory.

“I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve.

“Now it’s up to you to pass them down. (sic)”

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