Chart Flashback: Wale Scores First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200
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).
With both The Album About Nothing and Furious 7 at Nos. 1 and 2, Atlantic Records owns the top two slots for the first time since the July 19, 2014-dated chart. That week, Trey Songz’ Trigga (on Songbook/Atlantic) debuted at No. 1, while Ed Sheeran’s x (Atlantic) fell 1-2 in its second week.
Furious 7’s 15-position rise is the largest jump into the top two on the chart since the Les Miserables soundtrack zoomed 31 rungs (from No. 33 to No. 2) on the Jan. 12, 2013 chart.
The Les Miserables soundtrack debuted at No. 33 from only three full days of sales, as it was released on an off-cycle Friday (Dec. 21, 2012), four days before its parent film premiered in theaters. Then, once the album had a full week of sales (in the week ending Dec. 30, concurrent with the movie’s debut), the set flew to No. 2. Furious 7 is in its third week on the chart, but like Les Miserables, its swift chart climb on the current tally is owed to the film’s theatrical bow (on April 3).
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Furious 7 is up 388 percent in traditional album sales (33,000 for the week), up 154 percent in track equivalent album units (38,000) and up 3 percent in streaming equivalent album units (3,000). Much of the soundtrack’s gain is owed to the performance of its multiple hit songs, especially Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again.” It sold 168,000 downloads for the week (up 488 percent) and its video serves as a tribute to the film’s co-star Paul Walker, who died during filming of Furious 7.
Furious 7 just beats out the new album by one of Furious 7’s other co-stars, Ludacris. The hip-hop artist sees his new album Ludaversal bow at No. 3 with 73,000 units. It is his eighth top 10 album, and first full-length release since 2010’s Battle of the Sexes, which debuted at No. 1 with 137,000 units of pure album sales its first week.
Last week’s No. 1, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, falls to No. 4 in its third week with 65,000 units (down 47 percent).
Taylor Swift’s 1989 spends a 23rd consecutive week locked in the top five (its entire chart run), as it holds steady at No. 5 with just over 59,000 units. Only 10 albums have spent their first 23 weeks on the chart in the top five. The last to do so was Adele’s 21, which logged its first 39 weeks in the region back in 2011.
Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour dips 4-6 with 59,000 units (up 12 percent). It is the 35th nonconsecutive week in the top 10 for the album.
Darius Rucker debuts at No. 7 with Southern Style (57,000), clocking his fourth top 10 solo set. His last studio album, True Believers, debuted and peaked at No. 2. Southern Style also opens at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, securing Rucker his fourth chart-topper on that list. He previously led the country tally with True Believers; Charleston, SC 1966 (in 2010) and Learn To Live (2008).
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Rock act Death Cab For Cutie also stars in the top 10 with its new album Kintsugi. The Barsuk/Atlantic set enters at No. 8 with 56,000 units. It’s the fourth top 10 effort for the group, which was last in the top 10 with its previous studio effort, 2011’s Codes and Keys (No. 3 debut and peak). It’s also the third top 10 for Atlantic Records on the latest chart.
The soundtrack to Fifty Shades of Grey slides 3-9 in its eighth week on the tally, moving 54,000 units.
Rounding out the top 10 is the second top 10 album for singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens, who debuts at No. 10 with Carrie & Lowell (53,000 units). Stevens was last in the top 10 with his previous studio release, 2010’s The Age of Adz, which debuted and peaked at No. 7. Stevens’ new album also debuts at No. 1 on Vinyl Albums, Tastemakers and Internet Albums charts.