Taylor Swift launches her “The 1989 World Tour” on May 5, 2015 at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. The North American leg begins May 20 in Bossier City, Louisiana and ends Oct. 31 in Tampa, Florida—a small European leg is going down in June. In December of 2015, Swift has plans to tour Australia.
Highlights of her upcoming route include Taylor Swift in Philadelphia on June 13, Taylor Swift in Dallas on Oct. 17, and Taylor Swift in Atlanta on Oct. 24. Her massive world trek, which has the songstress performing in a bunch of huge stadiums, is named after her latest offering, 1989. It might be hard to believe, especially since Swift turns 25 on Dec. 13, but this is her fifth studio album.
Below, Musicology-101 looks at famous “fifth” studio albums by prominent female singers. As you’ll soon read, Swift has a lot to live up to because the following six albums are all quite good. Of course, her oeuvre is selling quite briskly (at least by today’s standards) and critics can’t stop slobbering over it (see Rolling Stone magazine). By the way, Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Carrie Underwood have yet to release their fifth studio offering.
Mariah Carey – Daydream (1995)
In 1989 Swift ditches the twang of Nashville and embraces pop music (maybe you read about it on Taylor Swift’s Twitter account?). Similarly, in Daydream Mariah Carey continued her migration away from adult contemporary and to R&B/hip hop. Daydream produced three number one singles: “Fantasy,” which is the first single by a female artist to premiere at number one on the Billboard Hit 100; “One Sweet Day” with Boyz II Men, which is the longest-running number one single of all-time; and “Always Be My Baby,” which tied Carey with Whitney Houston and Madonna for the most number one hits by a female. Daydream has sold more than 10 million copies and earned six Grammy Award nominations.
Christina Aguilera – Back to Basics (2006)
For Back to Basics, Christina Aguilera wanted to incorporate jazz, blues, and soul from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. That really didn’t happened as her final product is a fairly accessible pop/R&B album with a lot of horn samples. Back to Basics was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album and sold 4.5 million copies worldwide. Some critics liked the fact that Aguilera tried something new while others thought it was too long. The double album clocks in at more than 78 minutes. Swift’s 1989 runs less than 49 minutes.
Britney Spears – Blackout – (2007)
Britney Spears did little to promote Blackout. All she did was poorly sing “Gimme More” at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. This lack or promotion is probably why Blackout didn’t debut at number one—a first for Spears. Despite that, the album went on to sell more than 3 million copies worldwide. Critics liked it but said her voice was over-processed and questioned whether the credit should go to her or her army of producers. Even so, Blackout made a bunch of year-end “best of” lists.
Pink – Funhouse (2008)
Pink called Funhouse her most vulnerable album to date. The opus peaked at number two on the billboard 200, was certified 2x platinum, and earned three Grammy Award nominations. Funhouse also produced six singles: “So What,” “Sober,” “Please Don’t Leave Me,” “Funhouse,” “I Don’t Believe You,” and “Glitter in the Air.” The first of those six songs went all the way to the top of the singles chart. Pink wanted to call this work “Heartbreak Is a Motherf**ker” but her record label surprisingly balked.
Rihanna – Loud (2010)
Rihanna released Loud in November of 2010 and then seven months later she launched a world tour. The album 1989 dropped in late October and seven months later Taylor Swift will launch a world tour. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. Rihanna’s Loud was a return to her dancehall roots while Swift’s 1989 is a complete departure from her country background. Rihanna’s Loud peaked at number three while Swift’s 1989 debuted at number one. Rihanna’s Loud garnered decent reviews, produced seven singles, was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and sold nearly 6 million copies worldwide. Swift’s 1989 has received positive reviews but the jury is still out on the other stuff.
Beyoncé – Beyoncé (2013)
Beyoncé’s self-titled, fifth studio album hit the streets with no advanced notice or marketing. The album was released exclusively on iTunes where it quickly became their fastest selling album ever. A week later, physical copies hit store shelves (two discs, one CD and one DVD). Critics loved the work but that’s not saying much. When does a critic ever say anything bad about Beyoncé? This is the first album Beyoncé made after the birth of her daughter.