Taylor Swift
Image: Instagram

Taylor Swift's highly anticipated new album, The Tortured Poets Department, has apparently leaked online just a day before its official release, causing a stir among fans.

Numerous individuals have been circulating the tracks on various social media platforms, claiming they originated from a Google Drive link containing the entire 17-song tracklist.

While some die-hard Swifties have eagerly jumped into listening, others have staunchly maintained that true fans will patiently await the album's official release on Friday.

The BBC reached out to Swift's representatives for comment regarding the leak.

The announcement of her 11th studio album was made by the singer herself at the Grammy Awards in February.

This album marks her first collection of entirely new material since Midnights, released in October 2022.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, some fans were quick to declare their refusal to partake in early listening sessions, while others flooded the platform with fake links in an attempt to "bury" the leak and prevent others from accessing it.

"Raise your hand if you're an ACTUAL Taylor Swift fan and aren't listening," expressed one user on social media.

"People need to understand that this isn't just about being a fan. It's about respecting the hard work of others!," emphasized another.

"She and her team have planned and worked so meticulously for this album release. Don't disrespect and ruin it for others as well."

Another fan expressed a desire to wait until Friday to listen to the entire album "and truly experience the first listen."

Some fans speculated that the leaked tracks could be AI-generated fakes, although some tracks labeled as "AI" were actually older, lesser-known Swift songs.

This isn't the first time Swift has faced issues with AI. In January, X blocked searches for "Taylor Swift" after explicit AI-generated images of the singer began circulating on the platform.

The arrival of a new album has been eagerly anticipated by Swift's fanbase as it means fresh material to add to the star's blockbuster Eras tour, scheduled to hit Europe this summer.

Despite the leak, Swift's previous album, Midnights, which featured the singles Anti-Hero, Bejeweled, and Karma, still performed exceptionally well commercially.

It sold 1.6 million copies in its first week in the US and went on to win album of the year at the Grammys, making Swift the first person to win the award four times.

Earlier this month, Swift joined Elon Musk among the world's wealthiest individuals, as reported by a new rich list.

She made her debut on the Forbes World's Billionaires List with $1.1 billion, alongside Sam Altman, the creator of the AI chatbot ChatGPT, who also reached $1 billion.