Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Indie Country Singer Kane Brown Breaks Into Top 40

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Kane Brown

On the most recent Billboard 200 chart (dated Oct. 31), Selena Gomez topped the list for a second time, as her new album Revival bowed at No. 1. It follows her previous studio effort, 2013’s Stars Dance, which also debuted at No. 1.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

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Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the Oct. 24 chart:

— Kane Brown, Closer - No. 40 — Unsigned country singer Kane Brown continues to stride up the charts, as his self-released Closer EP vaults 161-40 on the Billboard 200 and steps 10-8 on Top Country Albums. He also bows on the Billboard Artist 100 at No. 93.

Much of Brown’s popularity has been driven by his homemade performance videos on Facebook. A clip of him performing Lonestar’s “Amazed” has amassed 6.9 million views on the platform, while another video of Brown singing along to his own “Used to Love You Sober” single has collected 11 million views. He has 1 million followers on Facebook, though just 29,000 followers on Twitter. Brown is managed by Jay Frank, founder of the music and marketing analytics companies DigSin and DigMark. In August, Universal Music Group (UMG) named Frank to the newly created position of senior vice president of global streaming marketing, while UMG acquired stakes in both DigSin and DigMark.

Closer climbs on the Billboard 200 -- breaking the top 40 for the first time -- with 9,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 15 (according to Nielsen Music). It tallied a 133 percent unit gain for the week. Since the EP’s release in June, it has sold 18,000 copies, with the bulk of its sales coming in the last three weeks (13,000). 97 percent of its total sales -- which are strong in the south central region of the U.S. -- come from downloads.

— Various Artists, Now 55 - No. 23 — A $6.99 sale price in the iTunes Store prompts 62 percent unit gain for the album, as it zooms 41-23 with 17,000 units (all from pure album sales). iTunes discounting also aids Elle King at No. 27 ( up 38 percent in sales).

R. City, What Dreams Are Made Of - No. 25 — Rising duo R. City jumps onto the Billboard 200 at No. 25 with their debut album What Dreams Are Made Of (16,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 15, according to Nielsen Music). The duo — brothers Theron and Timothy Thomas — broke through as an artist in 2015 thanks to their No. 6-peaking Billboard Hot 100 hit “Locked Away,” featuring Adam Levine. The brothers have previously written numerous Hot 100 hits for the likes of Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. 

W.A.S.P., Golgotha - No. 93 — Rock band W.A.S.P. returns to the Billboard 200 for the first time since 1989, as its new album Golgotha bows at No. 93. The group was last on the chart with The Headless Children, which peaked at No. 48 (April 29, 1989) and spent its last week on the list dated July 15, 1989.

Jess Glynne, I Laugh When I Cry - No. 110 — As the album’s single “Hold My Hand” reenters the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 94, her album rebounds 151-110 with a 12 percent unit gain. The single maintains its bullet at No. 28 on Mainstream Top 40.