Chart Beat

Kendrick Lamar Heading for First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200

Kendrick Lamar
Courtesy Photo

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is off to a fast start with his surprise early release, To Pimp a Butterfly, and it should give the artist his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week. Industry sources are forecasting the set to move over 325,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 22.

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The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Billboard 200's top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, March 25.

Lamar's set, released on Aftermath/Interscope Records, arrived at midnight on Monday, March 16, to the iTunes Store -- slightly more than week before its announced release date of March 23. (It then dropped off the store, only to return in the afternoon later that day.) The set's release date was only announced on March 11. After its iTunes bow, it started to make its way to other retailers. The physical version of the album seems to be in stock at most major brick and mortar retailers. (As of March 18, Target doesn't appear to be selling the title, however, a representative for the company says the album will be available in stores and online soon.)

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Lamar's last album, 2012's good kid, m.A.A.d. city, debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling 241,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen Music. It has sold 1.4 million copies to date.

Other albums on track for significant debuts include Modest Mouse's Strangers to Ourselves (aiming for around a 70,000 unit arrival) and Marina & the Diamonds' Froot (45,000).