Taylor Swift’s latest album Folklore has returned to number one in America, becoming the first record to sell more than a million copies in 2020.

The star’s low-key eighth album was recorded during lockdown and released as a surprise for fans in August.

The best-reviewed album of her career, it is widely expected to pick up multiple Grammy nominations next month.

According to Billboard, Folklore sold 57,000 copies in the US last week, bringing its total to 1.038 million.

Swift’s previous album, Lover, was also the only record to sell a million copies in the US in 2019.

Folklore is the star’s ninth album to reach that milestone – with all eight of her studio albums, along with her Christmas release The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection, each selling more than a million.

The 30-year-old announced her latest album with just 12 hours notice on 23 August this year.

“Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening,” added Swift, who was set to headline Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage in June.

“But there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen,” she told fans, before revealing that Folklore would comprise “songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into”.

The album topped the UK and US charts in its first week of release, and became the year’s best-seller by mid-September.

Later that month, Swift also surpassed Whitney Houston for most cumulative weeks at number one by a woman in the Billboard 200 chart – with a total of 47 weeks at the summit.

Houston had 46 weeks, while Adele holds third place with 34 weeks.

The record returned to number one this week after the star started selling signed copies of the CD on her online store for $25 (£19) each.

On Twitter, she joked that fans could get an extra gift with their purchase.

“Along with the signed CD, some lucky purchasers of these items may even receive complimentary cat hair stuck inside the pages,” she said.

“Or the aromatic scent of white wine I occasionally spill while signing.”