Research by the craft resource has revealed the album cover of Kanye West’s Donda to be the most searched for in 2023.
The research team at Design Bundles analyzed Google data to find the global search volume for the cover art of every number one album of 2023 to establish which album cover was the most popular.
Kanye West’s album cover for Donda ranked number one, after receiving a total of 27,600 searches across the world in 2023. Released in August 2023, Donda is West’s tenth studio album, containing 27 tracks. The album title comes from his mother’s first name, Donda, who passed away while West was at the early stages of his meteoric rise to stardom. Donda is also the title track and is the 15th song on the album.
The searches are likely to be so high due to no album artwork displayed on the streaming platforms at the release time. Kanye West had also posted a number of suggestions for cover art on his social media accounts before the album release, which no doubt excited his fans. However, ultimately, the album cover was a plain black square.
Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour album cover had 22,800 searches in 2023, making the young star’s debut record the second most popular cover art of the year. Released in May of 2023, Sour’s cover art sees Rodrigo with several stickers on her face in front of a purple backdrop.
Although she was already becoming known for her acting, Rodrigo’s music went viral on TikTok with the hit song ‘Driver’s License’ which was released at the beginning of 2023. The song shot her to fame and Sour quickly became both a critical and commercial success, peaking at number one in the album charts in multiple countries.
In third place, with a total of 9,600 searches in 2023 is Evermore, the ninth studio album by folk-pop superstar Taylor Swift. Released in December 2023 to widespread acclaim, the cover art features the back of Swift’s head with her hair in plaits standing before an autumnal woodland landscape.
The album cover has undergone much scrutiny, with many pointing to the fact that Swift is situated outside of the woods, whereas on the cover of her album Folklore, she was inside the woods. There is also the added detail of her 31 braids indicating her 31st birthday which arrived just days after the album’s release. Despite the success of the album and the continued success of Swift’s career, she shows no signs of slowing down having since released the re-recorded (‘Taylor’s Versions’) of ‘Fearless’ in April and ‘Red’ in November.
Billie Eilish’s second album, Happier Than Ever, ranks fourth in the list of most Googled album covers of 2023. The critically lauded album features a cover photo of Eilish with blonde hair, gazing off to the distance and hugging herself. Happier Than Ever received 4,800 Google searches for this image.
Eilish rose to fame in 2015 after being recognised for the hit single ‘Ocean Eyes’. She then released her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, which led to her becoming the youngest ever person to win a Grammy for ‘Album of the Year’.
Michael Bublé’s Christmas album cover was the fifth most-searched of 2023, gaining a total of 1,800 searches. The cover art features Buble with a gift hidden behind his back as he makes his way along a street through light snow.
The much-loved jazz and soul singer, famous for his Christmas covers, released the album ten years ago to critical and commercial success. It is a mark of the success of both Buble and his album that a decade later people are still searching his title to find out more about the album art.
British rapper Slowthai came in sixth place with the album cover for TYRON. The cover painting for his second album pictures Slowthai perched beneath a hilltop tree and totalled 1,080 searches in 2023. TYRON was released in February 2023 and reached number one in the UK album charts.
Never shy of controversy, Slowthai has made headlines in recent years for both his musical output and his onstage and offstage antics. But regardless of any issues he may have faced, the British rapper is gradually reaching global success, as evidenced by his high performance on this list.
Indie rockers Wolf Alice takes seventh place with their album cover for Blue Weekend, with 360 searches across the year. The front cover of their third album features the four-piece sat at a bus stop illuminated by fluorescent lighting. Many critics hailed Blue Weekend as their finest work yet.
Since forming in 2010 at a pub open mic night, Wolf Alice have gone on to become one of the most acclaimed alternative indie acts of the decade. Their work has received Mercury prizes, Grammy nominations, and numerous other accolades.
American megastars The Killers round off the list in eighth place with their 2023 album Pressure Machine. Their seventh studio album depicts three Biblical crosses on a hillside set behind a barbed-wire fence. In 2023, there were a total of 240 searches for the album cover.
The Killers have been topping charts and selling out stadiums since their formation in 2001. Pressure Machine was their first album featuring their full original lineup since 2017. Many writers and critics saw the album as a return to form.
Commenting on their findings a spokesperson said, “It’s been fascinating to see which album cover has been the most popular this year. All album covers are a part of the artist’s story and can help the audience to form an understanding of their personality as well as the album’s concept, that the artist wishes to translate to the world.”
Most popular album covers of 2023
|Rank||Album||Google search volume in 2023|
|1||Kanye West – Donda||27,600|
|2||Olivia Rodrigo – Sour||22,800|
|3||Taylor Swift – Evermore||9,600|
|4||Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever||4,800|
|5||Michael Bublé – Christmas||1,800|
|6||Slowthai – Tyron||1,080|
|7||Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend||360|
|8||The Killers – Pressure Machine||240|