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February 23, 2023

Taylor Swift wins international music award for success of 'Midnights'

The pop superstar has been named the Global Recording Artist of the Year for a record third time by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

Taylor Swift's latest album, "Midnights," became a blockbuster success after its release in October, cementing the singer-songwriter as a global superstar. The album broke sold more than 1.6 million units in its first week, broke several streaming records and took over the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Now, Swift has earned another accolade, having been named the Global Recording Artist of the Year by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Swift is now the most celebrated artist in the award's 10-year history, having also won in 2014 and 2019. Rapper Drake and the K-pop group BTS have each won it twice.

The award is given to the artist with the highest number of album-equivalent units, which include streams, downloads and physical sales. Swift came in second in 2020 and 2021, behind BTS both times, and finished third in 2015 and 2017.

"Taylor is a truly magnificent international star, who continues to grow and evolve as an artist whilst maintaining an incredibly strong connection with her fans around the world," said Frances Moore, chief executive at IFPI. 

BTS, Drake, Bad Bunny and The Weeknd rounded out the top five spots on the IFPI's list of the best-selling recording artists in 2022. The best-selling single was "As It Was" by Harry Styles.

"Midnights" marked Swift's first original pop album since 2019's "Lover." She had released two surprise folk albums in 2020. The new album's marketing efforts, which teased a set of colored vinyls and featured a series of lottery-style TikTok videos ahead of the LP's release, amped up fan excitement.

Three hours after the album's release, Swift released its deluxe version, which included seven additional songs that didn't make it onto the first album's tracklist. 

"Midnights is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows," the singer wrote in a series of tweets to celebrate the album's debut. "Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic, or lonely. Just like 'Midnights.'"

Many fans rejoiced at the album's similarities to Swift's older music, particularly the sonic influences from 2014's "1989" and 2017's "Reputation." The lead single, "Anti-Hero," reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart

"Midnights" sold more than 6 million units in its first eight weeks, and became the first album from Universal Music Group to sell more than 1 million physical copies since 2015. It also earned more than 1 million pure sales in the United States within its first week, smashing a previous record set by Swift's "Reputation." In all, the album broke 29 streaming and sales records in 2022.

Swift has released six albums since 2019, including two re-releases of her previous work. "Red (Taylor's Version)," a re-recorded version of her 2012 album, achieved widespread acclaim, particularly for its 10-minute remix of "All Too Well." Her music video for the song earned her a gilded gramophone at the 2023 Grammy Awards. "Midnights" wasn't eligible for nomination.

Swift is set to embark on her Eras Tour on March 18 in Glendale, Arizona. The Reading native will perform three shows at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia from May 12-14 from May 12 to May 14 with Phoebe Bridgers, GAYLE and Gracie Abrams serving as openers.