Taylor Swift has become the first and only female artist in the 21st Century to score five number one studio albums in the UK, after her new record 'folklore' topped the charts.

The 'cardigan' hitmaker released her eighth studio album last week after posting a surprise announcement just hours before the record dropped.

And although fans had no time to prepare for the album, they rushed to streaming services to get their hands on the new material, scoring the 30-year-old singer her fifth number one album in the UK.

'folklore' sold 37,060 copies in its first week in the UK, and all sales have occurred online, as the coronavirus pandemic means there has been no physical release yet in stores.

The album now joins 2012 record 'Red', 2014's '1989', 2017's 'Reputation', and last year's 'Lover' as the five albums to score a number one spot for the 'ME!' singer.

The singer-songwriter also sold a remarkable 12,152 album downloads, outselling the rest of the Top 100 combined, for the biggest download week one of the year so far.

And Taylor dominated the Singles Chart too, with three of her album's tracks making it into the top 10 - 'cardigan' at number six, her Bon Iver collaboration 'exile' at number eight, and 'the 1' at number 10.

Current chart rules prevent an artist from charting more than three songs as a lead artist, but without those rules in place, tracks from 'folklore' would have also made it to numbers 13, 15, 18, 21, 24, 31, 36, 37, 40, 42, 45 and 51.

Speaking to Music Week, Clive Cawley - managing director of Taylor's label EMI - said of the album: ''It feels beyond superb, everyone hit the battlements in record-breaking time across all areas, and I feel we delivered across every department. All our partners were incredibly responsive and supportive and the public responded likewise. It was a beacon of light amidst the miserable darkness of Covid-19.''