Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Ed Sheeran's '5' Box Bows, B.B. King Remembered

Kevin Mazur/BMA2015/WireImage
Ed Sheeran attends the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

On the latest Billboard 200 chart (dated May 9), the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack hit a high note, debuting at No. 1 with 108,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending May 17, according to Nielsen Music. Rock band Incubus also launched in the top 10, scoring their sixth top 10 effort with the EP Trust Fall (Side A).

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

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Let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the chart:

Andy Grammer, Magazines or Novels - No. 19 — It's a new chart high for the pop singer/songwriter, as his album continues to profit (rising 35-19; up 55 percent in units; up 138 percent in traditional album sales) from the popularity of its single "Honey, I'm Good." (up 18-12 on the Billboard Hot 100).

Ed Sheeran, 5 - No. 30 — Ed Sheeran’s new archival EP box set, 5, debuts at No. 30 on the Billboard 200, shifting 14,000 units in the week ending May 17, according to Nielsen Music. The 32-track digital set -- issued through Sheeran’s new imprint Gingerbread Man via Atlantic Records -- collects his five pre-fame independently-released EPs for their first U.S. release. They are also available individually, though none of them debut on any of Billboard’s charts (they sold a combined 2,000 copies). The box -- which sells for around $30 -- sold 6,000 in traditional album sales, enabling its No. 51 bow on Top Album Sales. Its launch on the Billboard 200 is more robust in its overall unit total (14,000), as it profits from track equivalent album (TEA) and streaming equivalent album (SEA) transactions, which power 58 percent of its unit total. (Its tracks sold 59,000 downloads in total, for example.)

B.B. King, Live at the Regal – No. 56 — Following the death of blues great B.B. King on May 14, the sales of his albums and songs grow tremendously. In the week ending May 17, his catalog of albums saw a 1,643 percent sales gain, to 34,000 sold for the week. His biggest seller of the week is Live at the Regal, which debuts at No. 28 on Top Album Sales with 9,000 sold (up 5,257 percent) and re-enters at No. 56 on the Billboard 200 (10,000 equivalent album units). King also dots the Billboard 200 at Nos. 59 (The Complete Collection; 10,000 units) and No. 118 (Greatest Hits; 5,000 units). Not surprisingly, King owns the top nine selling blues catalog albums of the week, according to Nielsen.

Further, King’s collected songs sold 45,000 downloads for the week -- a gain of 2,514 percent. King’s top selling song is one of his most familiar: “The Thrill Is Gone.” It moved 20,000 downloads (up 2,680 percent) and leads the Blues Digital Songs chart. It’s one of 18 King songs on the 25-position tally -- the most any artist has concurrently placed on the list since it launched on Jan. 23, 2010. 

Veil of Maya, Matriarch - No. 58 — The act notches its highest-charting album, as the set bows with 10,000 equivalent album units, and its best sales frame (9,000).

Futuristic, The Rise – No. 139 — The hip-hop artist (real name Zachary Beck) debuts at No. 139 and also starts at No. 10 on Rap Albums. Futuristic appears in a recent viral clip titled "Nerd Raps Fast in Compton," which has collected 3.1 million global YouTube views since its debut in March.

Leela James, Fall For You – No. 148 — Following the singer's performance of the album's title track on ABC's Dancing With the Stars (May 11), the set returns to the list, up 427 percent in units. The song rises by 2,910 percent to its best sales week: 11,000 downloads sold.


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