Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Drake & Future's 'Alive' Hits Half-Million in U.S. Sales
Plus: "Hamilton" ends 2015 on a sales high, Carole King's "Tapestry" returns after Kennedy Center Honors.
On the most recent Billboard 200 chart (dated Jan. 16), Adele’s 25 locked down the No. 1 slot for a sixth straight week, as the chart began to stabilize after the busy Christmas shopping season.
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).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the chart:
— Drake & Future, What a Time to Be Alive - No. 14 — What a Time to Be Alive becomes Drake’s sixth half-million selling album -- and Future’s first -- as the set’s total sales climbed past the 500,000 mark in the week ending Dec. 31, 2015, according to Nielsen Music. It moved another 11,000 during the week, bringing its cumulative sales sum to 508,000. All six of Drake’s albums have now sold more than a half-million, including If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which closes 2015 as the year’s top selling rap effort (1.14 million).
— Original Broadway Cast, Hamilton: An American Musical - No. 42 — With 169,000 copies sold in 2015, Hamilton is the biggest-selling cast album of a calendar year since 2011 (The Book of Mormon; 182,000). Hamilton remains at No. 1 on the Top Cast Albums chart for a 14th week.
— The Chainsmokers, Bouquet (EP), Daya, Daya (EP) - Nos. 53 & 71 — The Chainsmokers (117-53) and Daya (a re-entry at No. 71) graduate from the Heatseekers Albums chart as they each breach the top 100 of the Billboard 200 for the first time. The Bouquet EP tallies a 38 percent units gain (to 15,000) while Daya’s set bounds with 12,000 units (up 76 percent).
— Guns N’ Roses, Greatest Hits - No. 115 — News of Guns N’ Roses’ reunion perhaps spurs a gain for their Greatest Hits, as it reenters at No. 115 with 9,000 units; up 23 percent, and at No. 25 on Top Catalog Albums with 5,000 sold; up 4 percent. Billboard reported on Dec. 29 that the group -- with founding members Axl Rose and Slash -- will headline the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. in April, and are in talks to play a stadium tour. It would be the first GNR shows with Rose and Slash together since 1993. (Coachella and GNR later confirmed Billboard’s initial report.)
— Carole King, Tapestry - No. 176 — Carole King’s classic 1971 album Tapestry reenters at No. 176 following her tribute on the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors (broadcast Dec. 29 on CBS). The set also jumps back onto the Top Catalog Albums chart at No. 20 with its best sales week in nine years: 5,000 sold in the week ending Dec. 31 (up 43 percent), according to Nielsen Music.
On the Honors, which was taped on Dec. 6, Aretha Franklin performed the King-penned “A Natural Woman,” which went viral on YouTube and generated headlines thanks to what appeared to a tearful reaction from President Obama (and a standing ovation from the audience).
Tapestry last sold more in a week during the frame ending Dec. 24, 2006, when it sold slightly more than 5,000.
Tapestry spent 15 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and is certified at 10 million sold in the U.S. according to Recording Industry Association of America.