Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs during Day 1 of the Budweiser Made in America festival at Los Angeles Grand Park on Aug. 30, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Chelsea Lauren—WireImage/Getty Images
By Jack Linshi
March 18, 2015

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly set a Spotify record after the album’s surprise release even had anti-streaming icon Taylor Swift ready to tune in.

Tracks from the rapper’s third record—praised by critics—were streamed more than 9.6 million times on Monday, setting a new global record.

The previous first-day record-holder was Michael Bublé’s Christmas (2011), Billboard reports, adding that To Pimp a Butterfly wasn’t immediately available for download in the iTunes Store.

The CEO of Lamar’s label appeared to blame label partner Interscope for the album’s release, which was originally scheduled for next week. In recent years, artists including D’Angelo and Beyoncé have used surprise releases to generate buzz.

Read more: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly Is An Angst-filled Anthem for Blackness


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