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James Taylor tops U.S. album chart for first time in 47 years, beating Taylor Swift

james taylor beats swift for first number 1 album jamestaylor
Courtesy of Concord Records

Never say never. It took singer/songwriter James Taylor 47 years, but he finally has a No. 1 album on the U.S. album chart with Before This World. The five-time Grammy award-winner tops Taylor Swift — who, incidentally, is named after the legendary musician — as Billboard reports that his first studio album in 13 years sold 96,000 albums in its debut week.

“I didn’t dare hope that this album could actually debut on the charts at number one,” said the singer/songwriter in a video thanking his fans. “It’s a totally new experience for me, and that’s saying something … I really believe in Before This World. I think it’s an excellent album. It’s the best we can do. And we’re celebrating all day long here. All week long, actually.”

While it’s the 67 year old’s first No. 1 album, he does have a number one single to his name: his 1971 cover of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” And, with 11 previous top 10-charting albums, he’s certainly no stranger to Billboard’s U.S. album chart. Billboard notes that only Neil Diamond has had more top 10 albums (14) before notching his first No. 1 with 2008’s Home Before Dark.

Taylor rose over another Taylor — Taylor Swift — to top the charts. Swift, who’s been in the news lately for convincing Apple Music to pay artists during the streaming service’s three month trial period, finished at No. 2 for the fifth week in a row for her 2014 smash hit 1989.

James Taylor recently praised the pop superstar for her open letter to Apple in a Reddit AMA. “As a professional musician and songwriter, I’m really grateful to Taylor Swift for making a stand. I think that, generally speaking, if anyone is making money off of an artist’s music, then the artist should participate, and their share should be the lion’s share. It’s reassuring to see someone like Taylor Swift step up to the plate.”

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