There was never any doubt that Taylor Swift’s latest release, “The Tortured Poets Department,” was going to be big. The question was just how big.

And the answer is, gigantic.

“The Tortured Poets Department,” Swift’s 11th studio album, opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart with historic numbers, including huge results in streaming and vinyl sales. It is Swift’s 14th chart-topping title, tying her with Jay-Z for the second-most No. 1 albums by any act in the 68-year history of Billboard’s flagship album chart; only the Beatles, with 19, have more.

In its first week out, “Tortured Poets” had the equivalent of 2.6 million album sales in the United States, according to Luminate, which tracks the data behind Billboard’s charts. That is the biggest overall first-week take for any album since Adele’s “25” in 2015, which opened with nearly 3.5 million, driven by in-store CD sales.

The “equivalent” figure is a composite, based on a formula used by Luminate and Billboard to reconcile the various ways listeners now buy and consume music. And in each way, “Tortured Poets” was a smash.

It sold 1.9 million copies in traditional album sales, including 859,000 for vinyl alone, which blew away Swift’s own previous record of 693,000 LPs, set just six months ago. Advance sales through Swift’s website — begun the day Swift announced the album, at the Grammy Awards — were key. She offered an array of tinted vinyl variants and CDs, some in “deluxe” versions advertised with autographs or on-brand trinkets like engraved bookmarks that went for as much as $50 apiece. According to Billboard, 1.4 million copies of the album were sold on its first day, many preordered over the last two months.


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