Women in Music 2016

Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' Coasting to No. 1 in U.K.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File
Frank Ocean arrives at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. 

He teased, he bluffed, he distracted and he thrilled. And now Frank Ocean’s Blonde (Def Jam) is blasting toward the U.K. chart summit.

Ocean’s long-awaited sophomore album has dashed to No. 1 on the Official Chart Update with a 4,000 combined sales lead on its nearest rival, Dolly Parton’s No. 2-ranked Pure & Simple (RCA Nashville), her 43rd studio album.

Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' Proves Why Artists Shouldn't Be Rushed

If Blonde holds its current position when the Official Albums Chart is published this Friday, Ocean will have his first U.K. No. 1. The American R&B star’s new release is the followup to his acclaimed 2012 debut Channel Orange, which peaked at No. 2.

Meanwhile, David Brent’s Life On The Road soundtrack (LOTR Films) completes an all-new top three, while ELO’s All Over The World (Epic) comes in at No. 4 on the midweek chart and and Bob Marley’s Legend (Tuff Gong) is at No. 5.

Swedish metal act Sabaton has one of the week’s best-performing new entries with The Last Stand (Nuclear Blast), which sits at No. 9, and London indie-rockers Rifles are at No. 12 at the halfway point with Big Life (Cooking Vinyl).

The battle for the singles chart crown is considerably tighter. “Cold Water” (Because Music) by Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and , is targeting a fifth straight week at No. 1, although another Bieber-featured track, “Let Me Love You” (Interscope) by DJ Snake, is biting at its heels. Just 167 combined chart sales separate the two singles at the midweek stage. 

Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' Album Heading for No. 1 Debut on Billboard 200 Chart

Calum Scott's cover of Robyn's “Dancing On My Own” (Instrumental) is at No. 3 on the Chart Update, while The Chainsmokers hold down positions 4 and 5 with “Closer” (Disruptor) feat. Halsey and “Don't Let Me Down” feat. Daya, respectively.

Ellie Goulding is set to score this week's highest new entry with “Still Falling For You” (Polydor), which opens at No. 14 and is shaping as the local singer’s 18th top 40 hit. The new song is lifted from the latest film in the Bridget Jones franchise.