May 18, 2024
Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift closes this year out at No.1 but is she the greatest musician of all time?

After everything Taylor Swift has achieved this year, it’s safe to say this year belonged to her. 

Her hugely successful stadium tour, The Eras Tour, along with her box office record shattering concert film and cultural dominance that saw her win the Times Person of the Year award all contributed to her huge success this year.

Adding to her list of achievements this year, her album 1989 (Taylor’s Version) returned to No.1 position this week on the Billboard 200 charts. 

Elvis Presley as the greatest musician of all time

Notwithstanding the remarkable nature of those accomplishments, it would be unfair to compare them to Elvis Presley, who was consistently ranked No. 1 for the majority of the weeks, as the breathless and enthusiastic claims suggest. Elvis’s sales were measured solely from reports from retailers. Today’s sales, however, are measured from both reports from retailers and streaming services, which didn’t exist in Elvis’s time. 

3,750 streams from ad-supported streaming services and 1,250 streams from a paid subscription service will be counted toward one album unit on the Billboard 200 albums chart. This is on top of traditional sales, which are still far behind streams despite being helped by the resurgence of vinyl.

The commitment needed to drive to a store to purchase an album is much higher than simply streaming music on streaming services. 

However, does this lessen the credit of the No.1 status on the Billboard charts? Not between contemporaries but in case of historical comparisons, this matter is up for debate. 

The Beatles hold the record for having a No.1 album for 132 weeks, but they were not a ‘solo’ artist.

Taylor Swift still has a long way to go

So, despite having a massively successful year and breaking many records, whether Taylor Swift is the greatest musician of all time is a topic that is still up for debate. However, with her career skyrocketing to new heights and a lot of time still left in her career, who knows, maybe she might become the greatest musician of all time after all. 

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