James Taylor: How sweet it is (to finally have a No. 1 record)

How long did James Taylor wait for his first No. 1 album?

He's seen fire and he's seen rain -- and now he's seen a No. 1 album.

For the first time in his nearly half-century career, James Taylor topped the Billboard 200 Wednesday with his latest record, "Before This World." The singer-songwriter's first set of new songs since 2002's "October Road" (which opened at No. 4), "Before This World" sold 96,000 copies during the week that ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Music.

As Billboard's Keith Caulfield points out, Taylor now holds the record for the second-longest wait for a No. 1 album; his initial appearance on the chart came in 1970 with "Sweet Baby James." Only Tony Bennett waited longer, with 54 years passing between the chart debut of 1957's "Tony" and the No. 1 showing in 2011 by "Duets II."

Elsewhere on the new chart, another Taylor -- pop superstar Taylor Swift -- came in at No. 2 with her smash "1989," which in its 34th week on the tally moved 57,000 so-called equivalent album units. (That's Nielsen's term for a figure reflecting both sales and streaming statistics of a given title.)

"The Original High," the latest from former "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert, started at No. 3 with 47,000 units. Ed Sheeran's "x" was at No. 4 and Hilary Duff's comeback record "Breathe In. Breathe Out." was No. 5.

Twitter: @mikaelwood

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