How Taylor Swift could script history in the next few hours with Tortured Poets Department - Hindustan Times

How Taylor Swift could script history in the next few hours with Tortured Poets Department

ByAditi Srivastava
Apr 18, 2024 02:15 PM IST

From record-breaking sales to critical acclaim, Swift's influence as an artist continues to grow, setting the stage for another historic release.

From bustling urban spaces to hidden villages, whisper "Taylor Swift" and a knowing smile might just appear. Whether it's a teenager dancing in the rain dreaming of their ‘Romeo’ with old-school earphones or an office worker swaying to her Blank Space tunes on their sleek wireless buds, the Swift craze has officially transcended borders and generations.

Disney+ drops Taylor Swift’s epic ‘Eras Tour’ with secret songs and more! (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)(AFP)
Disney+ drops Taylor Swift’s epic ‘Eras Tour’ with secret songs and more! (Photo by DAVID GRAY / AFP)(AFP)

The Swift influence

It’s not just pop anthems that she’s influenced. She’s infiltrated NFL stadiums and even the halls of Congress. And now, with the release of her highly anticipated Tortured Poets Department album just around the corner, the anticipation is palpable. Are you feeling the heat (and maybe a little anxiety from all those leaks)? Welcome to the world of the Swifties.

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From sparking ASEAN discord with her reported ‘exclusive’ Singapore deal to capturing the NFL jumbotron and becoming the touring juggernaut that caught the attention of the government and Ticketmaster – can we even deny how big her 11th studio album is going to be?

Also read: Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets Department LEAKS or AI hoax? Swifties in tizzy ahead of album release

Tortured Poets Department and the hype

Major music streamers, from Spotify and Apple Music to iTunes and iHeartRadio, are all impatiently waiting for the release of The Tortured Poets Department. Vinyls are pre-ordered, posters are plastered everywhere, and merchandise is flying off the shelves. The clock is ticking – just a few hours until Taylor Swift makes history again, this time potentially reaching an even wider audience.

“This is probably the most anticipated album ever that I’ve seen in my career,” the chief programming officer & president for iHeartRadio sat with CNN to share his excitement about the upcoming album. Tom Poleman added, “It’s not just a music event, it’s a pop culture event that I think that everybody in America will be talking about and celebrating together.”

Taylor Swift- the record-breaking machine

Prior to TTPD, Taylor released her acclaimed albums Midnights in 2022 and 1989 (Taylor Version) in 2023. We don’t need to look at the charts or the streaming numbers to calculate how these albums continue to amaze the world. A record label executive with more than 20 years of experience spoke to the news outlet about the potential impact of her upcoming album and what would be the outcome. “It’s like in movies, it’s like James Cameron who cares about quality, cares about credibility but also cares about commercial success.”

From what experts can tell, “Tortured Poets” is released at a moment when Swift’s popularity is at an all-time high for both intentional and unplanned reasons. The album’s release will either answer the question of whether there’s a “ceiling to Swift’s success
or prove that, for an artist of her caliber, there’s such a thing as “flying so fast you can’t see the clouds.”

Swift’s stats

Music appreciation is subjective, but statistics speak for themselves. Both Midnights and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard 200. 1989 set records with the highest sales week of any album in the U.S., selling nearly 1.4m copies in its first week. Midnight also set streaming records in a single day for Apple Music and Spotify. These numbers, plus industry analyst and managing director of charts & data operations at BillboardKeith Caulfield’s observation, speak for themselves: “Taylor Swift has gone from being a celebrity to being a critically respected artist and an artist that fans connect with deeply.”

“I think she’s going to break the internet,” says Coleman.

The Tortured Poets Department out on April 19. Read: Taylor Swift is everywhere you look right now. Wonder what's the big deal about her? Read our special story, a primer on everything Swift

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