London-based global recording industry trade group IFPI has declared Taylor Swift the bestselling worldwide artist of 2019. Swift edged out the likes of Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Post Malone, Queen, and the Beatles for the crown.
Having last topped the IFPI’s annual list in 2014, Swift was elevated to number one by Lover, her seventh studio album, which was released in August of 2019. The 18-track work marked Swift’s first professional effort under the Republic Records/Universal Music Group banner, following a much-publicized (and ongoing) conflict with her previous label, Big Machine Records.
Lover has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) — though album sales are now ramping past one million in the United States. Additionally, Lover’s global sales have exceeded five million units, according to the most recently released figures.
Ed Sheeran came in second place on the IFPI’s 2019 artist sales list (his fourth album, No.6 Collaborations Project, was released in July). Post Malone laid claim to the number-three position (his third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, debuted in September). Billie Eilish finished fourth on the list, followed by Queen, Ariana Grande, and BTS, respectively.
Notably, Lady Gaga was awarded the list’s ninth spot despite not releasing a new album in 2019. Her latter studio record, Joanne, came out in 2016. After that, the New York native began working on Chromatica, which, she revealed today, will become available on April 10th.
Taylor Swift is currently scheduled to begin touring in support of Lover on April 5th, with a kick-off concert in Atlanta.
The 17-performance global tour is expected to weave through the United States and much of Europe, in addition to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
It’s unclear at this time if Swift’s calendar will change in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. BTS, Green Day, Stormzy, and other acts have altered their touring plans as a result of the infection’s rapid spread. The Lover Fest will not bring Swift to Italy, which reportedly has close to 2,000 COVID-19 cases to date, but a Nimes, France, concert is scheduled for July 5th. Over the weekend, France’s coronavirus infection total jumped to 130.
Health experts have indicated that COVID-19, like SARS, a similar infection that also came from China, will probably weaken (and eventually disappear) once warm weather arrives. The other possibility, unfortunately, is a widespread pandemic, which would greatly impact the live touring sector.