Taylor Swift’s Chart Success Nears Whitney Houston Levels

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 02.04.15 in News

Taylor Swift is encroaching on Whitney Houston territory. With last year’s 1989 back at No. 1 on the latest Billboard 200 chart — its 10th nonconsecutive week in the top spot — the pop-country conqueror becomes only the second woman ever to have two albums perform that feat. The other is Houston.

According to Nielsen Music, 1989 moved 101,00 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 1, good enough to bump the record back up from No. 2 the previous week. Swift’s sophomore outing, 2008′s Fearless, spent 11 weeks at No. 1, the longest any of her albums has spent at the top of the chart. Houston has had three albums spend more than 10 weeks at the top of the album chart: 1986′s Whitney Houston, 1987′s Whitney and 1992′s The Bodyguard soundtrack (her film tie-in held onto No. 1 for a staggering 20 weeks).

Overall, Swift becomes one of only seven acts to have multiple albums spend 10 weeks or more at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Besides Houston, the others are the Beatles (four) and Elvis Presley (three), along with the Kingston Trio (three), Henry Mancini (two) and the Monkees (two).

However, Swift’s 10th week in the catbird seat came with weaker sales. This January was the first since 2010 to have multiple albums open with sales of 150K-plus. By comparison, Swift’s pure album sales of 1989 last week totaled 71K, for the first time a week’s best-selling album has sold fewer than 100K since Lecrae’s Anomaly this past September.

As you’d guess, then, the rest of the current top 10 is a drab affair. The only new album on the list is Ne-Yo’s Non-Fiction (No. 5, 59K units), his sixth straight top 10 album. Rounding out the ranking are Meghan Trainor’s Title (No. 3, 68K), Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour (No. 4, 60K), Fall Out Boy’s American Beauty/American Psycho (No. 6, 55K), Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special (No. 7, 49K), Nicki Minaj’s The Pinkprint (No. 8, 48K), Maroon 5′s V (No. 9, 43K) and the 2015 Grammy Nominees compilation (No. 10, 34K).

In honor of Swift’s latest milestone, here’s Houston singing “One Moment in Time” at the Grammy Awards in 1989, the year of Swift’s album title.