Solange earns her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as her latest release, A Seat at the Table, arrives atop the tally. It beats out Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, for No. 1 -- an album that was initially forecast to bow in the penthouse. It debuts at No. 2.
A Seat at the Table launches with 72,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 6, according to Nielsen Music -- a stronger-than-expected start. Of that sum, 46,000 were in traditional album sales. Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, bows at No. 2 with 71,000 units (58,000 in traditional album sales).
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Oct. 22-dated chart (where A Seat at the Table bows at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
On Oct. 4, industry prognosticators suggested that A Seat at the Table would earn around 60,000 units in its first week -- perhaps 5,000 behind 22, A Million. Solange’s set continued to build steam as the tracking week came to a close, surpassing its first-week forecast.
As previously noted, traditional album sales comprised 46,000 of A Seat at the Table’s total equivalent album units earned in its first week. In addition, it brought in another 3,000 in track equivalent album units, and 24,000 in streaming equivalent album units. That latter sum translates to 35.7 million on-demand streams for the album’s songs on streaming services. (It was the second-most streamed album of the week on the chart, beaten only by Drake’s streaming powerhouse Views, with 51.9 million streams for its songs.)
As for Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, it debuts with 71,000 units (comprised of 58,000 in pure album sales, 1,000 in track equivalent album units and 12,000 in streaming equivalent album units). Its 12,000 streaming equivalent units figure represents 17.5 million streams of the album’s songs for the week.
22, A Million is the top selling album of the week, and starts at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart. The list ranks the week’s best-selling albums by pure album sales.
The set was released on Sept. 30 through Jagjaguwar Records on CD, vinyl LP, digital download, cassette; and through streaming services. It follows Bon Iver’s self-titled release in 2011, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 off a start of 104,000 copies sold. The set won the 2011 Grammy Award for best alternative album, the same year the band took home the best new artist trophy.
As for A Seat at the Table, its release was only announced on Sept. 27, and it reached digital retailers and streaming services three days later on Sept. 30. It was released by Saint Records (Solange’s own label) through Columbia Records. A physical CD release of the album is scheduled for Nov. 18.
Solange made her Billboard 200 chart debut on the Feb. 8, 2003-dated list, with Solo Star, which debuted and peaked at No. 49 that same week. Five years later, she notched her first top 10 album, with Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams, which bowed and peaked at No. 9 on the Sept. 13, 2008 list. A little more than four years after that, her True album debuted and peaked at No. 157 on the Dec. 15, 2012.
As Solange and her sister Beyonce have now both earned No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, they are among the few pairs of solo siblings to have scored No. 1s. Previously, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson managed the feat, as did Master P and his brother Silkk the Shocker.
Beyonce has logged six previous No. 1s, most recently with 2016’s Lemonade. Michael Jackson tallied six No. 1s (from Thriller in 1983 to the This Is It soundtrack in 2009). Janet Jackson has seven No. 1s (from 1986’s Control through 2015’s Unbreakable).
Master P topped the list in 1997 with Ghetto D, and followed it up in 1998 with MP Da Last Don. Silkk the Shocker led the list once, in 1999, with Made Man.
Notably, Solange and Beyonce both earned No. 1s in the same calendar year, just as Michael and Janet did in 2001 (with Invincible and All For You, respectively).
Drake’s former No. 1, Views, slips one rung to No. 3 with 47,000 units (down 7 percent) while the Suicide Squad soundtrack dips one position to No. 4 with 38,000 units (down 9 percent).
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ The Getaway zooms back into the top 10, rising from No. 24 to No. 5 with 33,000 units (up 112 percent), courtesy of sales of the album bundled with tickets to the band’s upcoming concert tour. The album sold 31,000 copies during the tracking week -- up 133 percent. The group promoted the ticket/album bundle offer through its social networks and via email blasts to fans, thus prompting the robust sales surge.
Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate falls from No. 1 to No. 6 in its second week, earning 29,000 units (down 80 percent). Ariana Grande’s Dangerous Woman rises 10-7 with 27,000 units (up 17 percent) and Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface falls 7-8 with a little more than 25,000 units (down 3 percent).
Van Morrison claims his third top 10 album -- and highest charting album ever -- with the arrival of Keep Me Singing at No. 9 with 25,000 units (nearly 25,000 in traditional album sales). It is the singer/songwriter’s 36th studio album, and follows his previous top 10s Born to Sing: No Plan B (No. 10 peak in 2012) and Keep It Simple (No. 10 in 2008). Keep Me Singing is also Morrison’s 20th top 40-charting effort. His first came in 1970 with the No. 29-peaking Moondance.
Travis Scott’s Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight rounds out the top 10, descending 6-10 with 24,000 units (down 12 percent).