Taylor Swift Tops Hot Country Songs Chart With Re-Recorded ‘Love Story’
Taylor Swift is at the top of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart for the first time since "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" had a 10-week run there in 2012-2013, this time with her "Love Story (Taylor's Version)."
The milestone also marks the first time one of Swift's songs has topped that chart during its debut week, and the singer says she owes that accomplishment to her fans.
"They're the ones who emboldened me to reclaim my music and they really showed up this week to see it through," Swift explains. "It blows me away that they've sent a song to No. 1 that had its first life over a decade ago. I couldn't be happier that it happened now, or in this way."
The 2021 rendition of "Love Story" is the leading track off Swift's new recording of her sophomore album, Fearless, which was the best-selling album of 2009. It spent 11 weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart when it first came out, also notching RIAA diamond certification. As a single, the original "Love Story" spent two weeks atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in November-December 2008.
Swift decided to re-record and re-release Fearless — as well as five other albums from her Big Machine Label Group days — after her 2018 split from the label, which quickly turned contentious when founder and CEO Scott Borchetta sold the label to celebrity talent manager Scooter Braun. At the time, Swift voiced her vehement disapproval of the sale, arguing that Braun had been a bully to her for years and that she was not notified of the sale ahead of time, nor was she given the chance to buy back the masters recordings of the albums she made over the course of her BMLG contract.
"Love Story"'s return to the top of the Hot Country Songs chart also puts Swift in rare, elite company in another way: Only she and Dolly Parton have ever ruled the chart with two distinct iterations of the same song. Parton's "I Will Always Love You" first made it to No. 1 for a single week in June 1974, and then returned to the top spot in October 1982 after the singer released a new recording of the song.
In fact, Parton's "I Will Always Love You" came fairly close to having three separate, chart-topping versions. In 1995, a duet version of the song between Parton and Vince Gill made it to No. 15 on the Hot Country Songs chart.
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