The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new July 25-dated chart (where Legends Never Die starts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's website on July 21.
Legends Never Die’s debut of 497,000 equivalent album units is powered by 283,000 SEA units (equating to 422.63 million on-demand streams of the tracks on the album), 209,000 in album sales (supported largely by over 100 merchandise/album bundle offers) and 3,000 in TEA units.
Biggest Week of 2020 for an Album by Units: With 497,000 units earned, Legends Never Die captures 2020’s biggest week for an album, by equivalent album units earned. It beats the previous high, logged by the arrival of The Weeknd’s After Hours, when it bowed at No. 1 with 444,000 units on the chart dated April 4. The last album to notch a larger week than Legends was Taylor Swift’s Lover, when it entered at No. 1 on the Sept. 7, 2019-dated list with 867,000 units.
Biggest Week for a Hip-Hop Album or by a Male Artist in Nearly Two Years: The last hip-hop album, or effort by a male artist, to capture a bigger week than Legends Never Die, was Travis Scott’s Astroworld, when it debuted at No. 1 on the Aug. 18, 2018-dated chart with 537,000 units.
Since January 2018, the only albums, of any genre, that logged a week as large as Legends were Swift’s Lover, Astroworld, and Drake’s Scorpion (732,000; July 14, 2018), and all in their debut weeks.
Biggest Streaming Week of 2020 & Fourth Largest Streaming Week Ever: Legends Never Die’s first week was led by blockbuster streaming figures, as the album’s tracks logged 422.63 million on-demand streams in the U.S. in the week ending July 16. That’s the largest streaming week of 2020 for any album, and the fourth-biggest streaming week ever for an album.
Legends’ streaming launch surpasses 2020’s previous record, earned by the arrival of Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake, when it started with 400.42 million streams (No. 1; March 21). In terms of the all-time streaming records, the only weeks that are larger than Legends are the debut frames of Drake’s Scorpion (745.92 million; July 14, 2018), Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V (433.02 million; Oct. 13, 2018) and Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys (431.34 million; May 12, 2018). L
Legends Never Die replaces Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The latter title – another posthumously released effort -- slips to No. 2 in its second week with 110,000 equivalent album units earned (down 56 percent). With Juice WRLD following Pop Smoke at No. 1, it’s the first time two acts have gone back-to-back at No. 1 on the chart with posthumous releases. It’s also the first time the top two on the tally are occupied by posthumously released albums.
At No. 3 on the new Billboard 200, the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical falls one spot with 95,000 equivalent album units earned (down 7 percent). The album posts a gain in streaming activity for the week (72,000 SEA units earned; up 8 percent), as the filmed version of the Broadway show continues to stream on Disney+ (following its July 3 premiere on the service).
Four former No. 1s are next up on the chart, as Lil Baby’s My Turn dips 3-4 (58,000 equivalent album units earned; down 7 percent), Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding is steady at No. 5 (34,000; down 5 percent), DaBaby’s Blame It On Baby descends 4-6 (33,000; down 8 percent) and Harry Styles’ Fine Line is a non-mover at No. 7 (28,000 units; down 4 percent).
Summer Walker collects her second top 10 album, as Life On Earth debuts at No. 8 with just under 28,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 24,000 are in SEA units, 3,000 are in album sales and a negligible figure is in TEA units. The five-track Life On Earth project, billed as an EP, follows her previous top 10, the 18-track Over It, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Oct. 19, 2019-dated chart.
Closing out the new top 10, The Weeknd’s former No. 1 After Hours falls 6-9 with 27,000 equivalent album units earned (down 8 percent) and Polo G’s The Goat slips 8-10 with nearly 27,000 units (down 6 percent).