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Report: Taylor Swift’s “Tortured Poets Department” Wins US Sales Race, Earns 5th Week At #1 Overall

The Taylor Swift album holds off Billie Eilish’s “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT.”

An album sales race that spurred considerable debate has reportedly ended in favor of Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department.”

According to Hits Daily Double, the album sold another 207K US copies during the May 17-23 tracking period. With units from track sales and streams included, the album generated 375K in total US consumption.

That consumption figure should earn “Tortured Poets” a fifth consecutive week atop the Billboard 200.

Billie Eilish’s new “HIT ME HARD AND SOFT” should take second place, courtesy of its 330K US units (186K from sales). Though not enough to dethrone the Swift album, the total markedly tops mid-week projections — and ranks as the best for an Eilish album.

As noted, this week’s album race was a major focal point of online discussion. The week opened with Swift releasing new variants of her album — a move that was likely to boost sales and potentially keep “Tortured Poets” in the mix for #1. As the week progressed, Eilish shared alternate recordings and aggressively discounted the album — moves that would provide “HIT ME” with a sales boost of its own. Fans of each artist passionately debated the respective efforts, creating a sense of competition (albeit one never directly addressed by either artist) rarely seen on the charts.

Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002. Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]

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Brian Cantor