Country-pop starlet Taylor Swift's record label was forced to release the first single from her upcoming album 12 days ahead of schedule on Wednesday, hours after a bootleg version appeared online.
Big Machine Records said in a statement that the MP3 file of Mine was low-quality, and it wanted fans to hear the single in its proper form via iTunes and country radio. It was not immediately known who was responsible for the leak.
The song, which Swift recently described as a song of hope inspired by her recent tendency to run from love, quickly went to No. 1 on iTunes' real-time chart.
I landed in Japan and got 20 texts and looked at iTunes and got tears in my eyes, she said on Twitter. And so, we begin again.
Swift's third album, Speak Now, remains on course for a worldwide release on October 25. It marks the follow-up to her album of the year Grammy winner Fearless, which has sold 5.95 million copies in the United States and currently sits at No. 45 on the pop album chart in its 90th week.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman)