It seems that these days, fame is more fleeting than ever as the digital era of music has allowed artists to come out of nowhere and take some of the attention away from the established superstars. However, some stars have proven that they’re immune to any shift in genre and stand out at the top of the charts despite all of the newcomers. Taylor Swift is one of those artists that transcends any fad in music to stick around as a top act.
Since making her debut, Swift has released a ton of successful albums, selling well over 100 million units in her career. Which ones have been the most successful, though? Let’s take a look at her discography and remember the five that absolutely dominated the charts both album-wise and singles-wise.
Back in 2010, Taylor Swift was still making that transition from country music to pure pop music, and “Speak Now” marked the final album which people consider to be “country pop.” Swift wrote the album all on her own, which is a huge risk for any musician trying to make it in pop. The gamble paid off in a huge way for Swift as the album got off to a hot start thanks to the initial single “Mine”.
Though the singles from “Speak Now” didn’t dominate the top of the charts like some of her other albums, there were still some hits which included “Back to December”, “Mean”, and “Story of Us”. Her third studio album, “Speak Now” was certified platinum six times over, reaching sales of nearly 5 million in the United States and reaching the number one spot in four countries, including the United States.
All careers have to start somewhere, and for Taylor Swift, it was in 2006 when she released her self-titled debut album. At the time, Swift was just 16 years old and fully entrenched in the country music genre as she had been signed to Sony and was recording in Nashville, Tennessee. The debut single from the album was “Tim McGraw”, an ode to one of the genre’s biggest legends.
Swift followed his up with a slew of chart-toppers including “Teardrops on My Guitar”, “Our Song”, and “Should’ve Said No”. Swift was well on her way to stardom early on, selling nearly 6 million copies in the United States alone and achieving seven-time platinum status. Interestingly enough, though, it’s the only Swift album to not reach number one on the US Billboard 200.
Following the success of “Speak Now”, 2012 marked the full transition into pop music for Swift’s career when she released “Red”. Many were curious to see where she would go next, and the album didn’t disappoint in the slightest. The debut single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was a megahit, and the rest of the track list didn’t let up.
“22”, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, and “Everything Has Changed” all became wildly successful, and the sales numbers backed up how much people loved the pop version of Swift. “Red” reached the top of six major charts around the world and was platinum seven times. More than 8 million copies were sold, and earned Swift a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
You have to go back to the early days of Swift’s career to find one of her most successful albums, and it was the highly-anticipated sophomore release titled “Fearless” in 2008. Swift proved that she wasn’t a flash in the pan, and actually found more highly-charting singles than her debut. “Love Story” was the first single released from “Fearless” and was one of the biggest hits of the 2000s.
“You Belong With Me” became another massive hit, with other songs like “Fifteen” and “White Horse” achieving solid success, too. “Fearless” reached number one in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, and it’s the only Swift album that has achieved certified diamond status thanks to 12 million copies sold worldwide. “Fearless” also won major Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
If you ask any Swiftie what their favorite album is, there’s a good chance that they’re going to say “1989”. Released in 2014, “1989” proved to be the biggest hit-producer of Swift’s career, starting with the infectious “Shake It Off”. There were seven total singles released from “1989”, three of which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Blank Space” and “Bad Blood” were the other two, while songs like “Style”, “Wildest Dreams”, and “Out of the Woods” were all highly charting. “1989” received 10-time platinum status and sold more than 10 million copies worldwide despite being released in the digital era. Like “Fearless”, “1989” won the Grammy for Album of the Year, making Swift the first solo female to win the award twice.