As if this year hasn’t already been big enough for Taylor Swift, it appears even further congratulations are in order for the country-gone-pop singer. Billboard announced yesterday that her new single “Blank Space” has taken the top spot, which gives Swift the incredible distinction of being the first woman in the chart’s 50-plus year history to replace herself at number one on the Hot 100.
Last week, Swift was sitting on top with “Shake It Off”, the leading single from her recently-released album 1989, which is currently enjoying a third week at number one as well. “Shake” has (so far) topped the Hot 100 for four non-consecutive weeks, trading places with Meghan Trainor’s debut release “All About That Bass” for a spell in between reigns. This week, “Bass” remains at number two, while “Shake” starts what will probably be a more permanent decline, finding it’s way to number three.
“Blank Space” makes the biggest leap to number one so far in 2014, going from number thirteen (which is coincidentally the singer’s favorite number) to one in a single frame. Swift is now the only performer to secure two number one hits this year, though there’s still more than a month left, and anything can happen.
Taylor may be the first woman to succeed herself in the penthouse of the singles chart, but she isn’t the first when it comes to groups and male performers. In fact, she is now the tenth act to do so, joining the ranks with such prestigious company as The Beatles, OutKast, Usher, and The Black Eyed Peas. The Beatles actually replaced themselves twice, racking up three consecutive number ones back in 1964 (“I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”), the same year the group charted four number one albums.
The leap to ruling the charts is thanks to the video for “Blank Space”, which all but took over the internet last week. The Joseph Kahn-directed clip shows Swift indulging in what others say about her, playing up how boy-crazy and, well, possibly actually crazy, the media portrays her as being. Swift and American Express AXP -0.25% joined together to create an app that accompanies the video, allowing viewers to engage with the production on a deeper level, going behind the scenes and exploring the luxurious setting.
While the fact that a Taylor Swift album is a huge success surely doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, the charting and sales figures that she and label Big Machine are enjoying is unprecedented, even for her. The album has just surpassed the two million sales mark (in three weeks alone), selling another 312,000 copies in the last tracking week. The album will likely be around for quite some time, as it has only released two singles and has plenty left in its radio-ready arsenal.