Twenty One Pilots Earn First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart

Jabari Jacobs
Twenty One Pilots photographed in 2015.

Twenty One Pilots flies in for its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as the duo’s new effort, Blurryface, wings its way to a chart-topping debut. The set, which was released on May 18 through Fueled by Ramen Records, moved 147,000 units in the week ending May 24, according to Nielsen Music.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Blurryface’s debut is powered by pure album sales, as the album sold 134,000 copies in in its first week.

Blurryface is Twenty One Pilots’ fourth album, and the follow-up to their breakthrough set Vessel. The latter, released in Jan. 2013, has sold 265,000 copies and peaked at No. 58 on the Billboard 200 chart. As previously noted, though the album hasn’t sold a huge amount, it has been a consistent seller. That consistency -- and gradual accumulation of new fans on a weekly basis -- helped set up Blurryface’s handsome first week. Vessel has sold more than 1,000 copies per week since its release, but never sold more than 11,000 copies in a single frame. On average, it has sold 2,000 copies per week.

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Twenty One Pilots is the seventh act to earn its first No. 1 album in 2015. They follow Meghan Trainor (Title), Imagine Dragons (Smoke + Mirrors), Big Sean (Dark Sky Paradise), Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp a Butterfly), Shawn Mendes (Handwritten) and Alabama Shakes (Sound & Color).

And, in a very Chart Beat-oriented fun fact, Twenty One Pilots is the latest numerically inclined act to top the list, after No. 1s by the likes of One Direction, Avenged Sevenfold, Nine Inch Nails, Day26, 2Pac, U2, 2 Chainz, 3 Doors Down, Maroon 5, 50 Cent, 5 Seconds of Summer, D12 and Blink-182.

As for the rest of the new top 10, Taylor Swift’s 1989 zooms 9-2 with a 146 percent unit gain, following her eight wins on the Billboard Music Awards (May 17) and the premiere of her “Bad Blood” music video as the Awards’ opener. The set vaults to 91,000 units -- its best weekly sum since the frame ending Feb. 15 (reflected on the chart dated Feb. 28).

1989’s traditional album sales grew to 40,000 in the latest week (up 86 percent) for its best frame since the week ending March 8.

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Last week’s No. 1 album, the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack, slips to No. 3 in its second week with 74,000 units -- down a relatively modest 31 percent.

Dance music star Zedd zips onto the list at No. 4 with his new album True Colors launching with 50,000 units (of which 39,000 are pure album sales). Zedd previously topped out at No. 38 with his last album, 2012’s Clarity.

Like Swift’s 1989, Meghan Trainor’s Title benefits from Billboard Music Awards, as the two-time winner and show performer’s album shoots 12-5 with a 45 percent unit gain (to 47,000 for the week). The album sold 24,000 copies for the frame (up 60 percent) — its best sales week since the week ending March 29.

The Voice winner Sawyer Fredericks debuts at No. 6 with The Voice: The Complete Season 8 Collection, as it starts with 41,000 units. He immediately earns the highest charting effort from a Voice contestant, surpassing the No. 9 peak of third season winner Cassadee Pope. The latter's debut studio effort, Frame By Frame, debuted and peaked at No. 9 in 2013.

Brantley Gilbert vaults 69-7 with Just As I Am (39,000 units; up 358 percent) in the wake of a deluxe reissue of the album on May 18. Referred to as the Platinum Edition, the new repackaging includes eight bonus tracks.

Ed Sheeran’s x is another likely beneficiary of the Billboard Music Awards, as the album steps 13-8 with 38,000 units (up 18 percent). Sheeran performed the album’s “Bloodstream” on the show. x also grew by 20 percent in pure album sales, to 19,000 for the week.

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The soundtrack to Furious 7 descends 5-9 with just over 36,000 units (down 11 percent) in its 10th week on the chart.

Jamie Foxx nabs his fourth top 10 album with Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses, as the new album bows at No. 10 with 36,000 units. It follows Unpredictable (released in 2005, No. 1 for three weeks), Intuition (2009, No. 3) and Best Night of My Life (2010, No. 6).

(Editor's note: This story was updated on May 27 at 3 p.m. PST after Nielsen Music reprocessed its data. Sawyer Fredericks now debuts in the top 10, at No. 6. The titles that were earlier reported at Nos. 6-10 have all shifted down one position each. Additionally, Twenty One Pilots' unit figure at No. 1 is 147,000; not 146,000.)