It took the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, 14 years and six months to accumulate 50 hits on the Billboard Top 100. With her fourth studio album, Red, Taylor Swift will have achieved the same in just six years and one month since the release of her 2006 debut, Taylor Swift.
It’s also important to remember that Taylor Swift is a conventionally, good-looking white woman who has been branded “America’s Sweetheart”, a nickname that implies her acceptance among (mostly white) American audiences, whereas Aretha Franklin was a black woman rising to fame during an era in which her talent, success, and opportunities were more than likely trampled upon because she didn’t fit the mold of the “ideal American”.
So, coming close to breaking a black, female artist’s record isn’t really all that astonishing or surprising considering the fact that it’s being done by a woman who is whiter and more widely accepted than Aretha.
Either way, this doesn’t take away from Aretha’s talent.