Taylor Swift and her fans are famously protective of the pop star’s music, so it’s not often that her albums are leaked early. When they are, they don’t seem to affect sales that much. Still, even the “Love Story” hitmaker — who is about to release her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department — isn’t immune to the spread of leaks on social media. There have been a few infamous album leaks in Swiftie history.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ Album Was Leaked on October 17, 2012

Taylor’s fourth album, Red, was leaked in full six days before the album’s official release on October 22, 2012, making it the earliest leak in Swiftie history. It’s not clear where the leak originated, but it did little to affect sales. The album still went on to sell 1.23 million copies during its first week, per Detroit Free Press.

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Album Was Leaked on October 24, 2014

Several tracks from Taylor’s fifth album, 1989, were leaked four days before the album was slated for release on October 27, 2014. Her hit song “Blank Space” landed on YouTube on October 24, but was quickly pulled by her label, Big Machine Records. The leak might have originated from Target, as hackers managed to obtain the 19 songs made for the Target edition of the album, Detroit Free Press reported at the time.

Despite 1989 leaking, the album’s tracks did not trend on Twitter at the time, which Taylor credited to her fans. “Because my fans protected it,” she told NPR in an interview on October 31, 2014. “Anytime they’d see an illegal post of it, they’d comment, ‘Why are you doing this? Why don’t you respect the value of art? Don’t do this.’”

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Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Album Was Leaked on November 9, 2017

Taylor’s sixth album, Reputation, leaked online about 12 hours before its official U.S. release on November 10, 2017, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The album had already been the subject of a leak earlier in the week, as the complete tracklist made its way around social media on November 7, 2017.

When Have Past Taylor Swift Albums Been Leaked? Dates
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Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ Album Was Leaked on August 22, 2019

Finally, Taylor’s seventh album, Lover, was leaked just nine hours before its official release date of August 23, 2019.

“The fact that they were able to get so close to street date without it happening is, quite frankly, a miracle,” Brittany Hodak, whose business The Superfan Company, worked with Taylor on the Red album launch, told Cosmopolitan at the time.

As for how the leak happened, Hodak said it likely originated from a physical copy of the Lover album outside of the U.S. “I’m not sure how many different continents they were manufacturing music on, but it was certainly more than one, probably more than two,” Hodak said. “And to have all of that be moving around the globe is … it’s an entire logistical operation that most fans never even think about or need to know about.”

Was ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Leaked Early?

Two days before the release of The Tortured Poets Department on April 19, 2024, many fans believed that Taylor had fallen victim to yet another leak. On April 17, a Google Drive link began to circulate containing 17 songs. An alleged snippet from the TTPD track “loml” made the rounds on X, while another alleged clip of “So Long, London” appeared on TikTok. However, many people believed that these snippets were AI-generated and not Taylor’s real voice.

As the rumored leak continued to circulate online, with some posts seemingly containing real snippets from TTPD, X temporarily banned users from searching the phrase “Taylor Swift leak,” US Weekly reported.