This past week, Taylor Swift became the only female solo artist to have scored five Number 1 albums this millennium. Her latest five albums Red (2012), 1989 (2014), Reputation (2017), Lover (2019) and Folklore (2020) have all topped the Official Irish Albums Chart and, impressively, they all ruled the Top 50 within the last decade.
Since the turn of the century, just 10 women have scored three or more chart toppers on the Official Irish Albums Chart, but who are they?
For Taylor to have the record all to herself, she surpassed Madonna and Beyoncé, who each have claimed four Number 1s in the last twenty years.
Madonna's chart-toppers since 2000 are Music (2000), Hard Candy (2008), Celebration (2009) and MDNA (2012), while Beyoncé was Number 1 with Dangerously In Love (2003), I Am... Sasha Fierce (2009), 4 (2011) and Lemonade (2016). Lemonade scored four separate stints at Number 1 in 2016 and was the biggest album released that year by a female artist.
The female artist to score a trio Number 1 albums since 2000 first was Avril Lavigne, who had managed it in five years with her albums Let Go (2003), Under My Skin (2004) and The Best Damn Thing (2007). Rihanna took the throne with Good Girl Gone Bad (2007), Loud (2010) and Unapologetic (2012), and Imelda May has the distinction with being the only Irish woman in the Top 10 with Love Tattoo (2009), Mayhem (2010) and Tribal (2014) - all three albums were the biggest of their respective years by an Irish solo artist.
Britney Spears' My Prerogative: Greatest Hits (2004), Blackout (2007) and Glory (2016) only topped the charts in five, two and three countries respectively, but Ireland was among them on each occasion. Ariana Grande claimed three Number 1s in the quickest time, with less than three years between Dangerous Woman (2016), Sweetener (2018) and Thank U, Next (2019).
The most recent ladies aside from Taylor to claim a treble are P!nk with Missundaztood (2003), Beautiful Trauma (2017) and Hurts 2B Human (2019) and Lady Gaga with The Fame (2009), Born This Way (2011) and Chromatica (2020).
The female solo artists with the most Number 1 albums in Ireland since 2000
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*excluding A Star Is Born, credited to 'Motion Picture Cast Recording', a soundtrack featuring songs by Lady Gaga, but also solo tracks from Bradley Cooper, and spoken interludes from other cast members.