Taylor Swift’s Re-Recorded ‘Fearless’ Makes Record-Breaking Debut at Number One

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Elias Leight
·3 min read
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Taylor Swift’s re-recording of Fearless exploded to Number One on the latest Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart, smashing Morgan Wallen’s record for the biggest debut of 2021. And that wasn’t the only record she broke: With Fearless (Taylor’s Version), she also breaks the record for the most Number One albums in the chart’s history, with four.

All told, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) pulled in over 290,000 album-equivalent units — 177,000 album sales and 136 million on-demand audio streams streams — which is roughly five times as many units as Justin Bieber’s Justice (Number Three) and Rod Wave’s SoulFly (Number Four).

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Swift’s high-flying first week is all the more remarkable considering that Fearless initially came out in 2008 and has already been certified ten-times platinum by the RIAA — many of her fans already own these songs. But Swift does not own the original album’s master recording, and she announced her intention to record her own version of Fearless — along with five of her other albums — in 2019.

The new set contains 26 tracks, including six previously unreleased songs “from the vault.” While Fearless (Taylor’s Version) romped to Number One, Swift also enjoyed two other albums in the Top 40 — Folklore and Evermore — and another pair in the Top 100.

Another ubiquitous presence on this week’s RS 200 was DMX: Fans flocked to his albums after the rapper died earlier this month at age 50. It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, originally released in 1998, jumped to Number Eight with 31.8 million streams. In addition, The Best of DMX moved to Number 11 (21.5 million streams), And Then There Was X climbed to Number 17 (21.1 million), and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood arrived at Number 37 (15.9 million).

The Rolling Stone 200 Albums chart tracks the most popular releases of the week in the United States. Entries are ranked by album units, a number that combines digital and physical album sales, digital song sales, and audio streams using a custom weighting system. The chart does not include passive listening such as terrestrial radio or digital radio. The RS 200 Albums chart is updated daily, and each week Rolling Stone finalizes and publishes an official version of the chart, covering the seven-day period ending with the previous Thursday.

The biggest debut for new album that wasn’t a re-recording of an oldie belonged to Brockhampton. Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine picked up 17.3 million streams, good to arrive at Number 18. Luke Bryan’s Born Here Live Here Die Here jumped to Number 26 following the release of a deluxe version with six new songs.

See the full RS 200 here.

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