Breaking Benjamin Earns Its First No. 1 Album on the Billboard 200 Chart

Nicole Napier
Breaking Benjamin

Rock band Breaking Benjamin celebrates its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart -- and their best sales week ever -- as Dark Before Dawn arrives in the top slot. The set moved 141,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 28, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 135,000 were pure album sales -- the group’s best week ever.

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).

Previously, Breaking Benjamin’s best sales frame came when its last studio effort, 2009’s Dear Agony, bowed at No. 4 with 134,000. That wasn’t their highest charting album, however, as that honor had fallen to 2006’s No. 2-peaking Phobia (though it started with a smaller sum: 125,000).

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Dark Before Dawn is Breaking Benjamin’s first studio album in nearly six years, and first with an almost all-new lineup. Now a quintet, only its namesake lead singer, Benjamin Burnley, remains from its previous incarnation as a quartet. (Two members of the band departed in 2010 after legal and contractual disputes, while another member left in 2013 due to creative differences.)

In May, Dark Before Dawn’s lead single, “Failure,” became the act’s third No. 1 on Mainstream Rock Songs. The track is currently in its eighth week atop that airplay list -- the group’s longest chart-topping run (surpassing the seven weeks at No. 1 for 2007’s “Breath”).

In addition, Breaking Benjamin becomes the first rock act on Hollywood Records to score a No. 1 album. The label – which is part of the Disney Music Group – is likely best known for its soundtracks and albums from pop stars like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. Still, Hollywood has been home to a number of rock acts, ranging from Plain White T’s and Queen to Atreyu and Fastball.

In total, Dark Before Dawn is Hollywood Records’ 12th No. 1 album. (While Breaking Benjamin is the first rock act on Hollywood with a No. 1 album, Dark Before Dawn is the label’s second rock album to hit the top. It follows last year’s rockin’ No. 1 soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix Vol. 1.)

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Singer Tori Kelly sees her first full-length album, Unbreakable, bow in the No. 2 slot with 75,000 units (of which 65,000 are traditional album sales). The album was preceded by the singles “Nobody Love” (which reached No. 16 on the Pop Songs airplay chart) and “Should’ve Been Us” (which climbs 32-26 on the latest chart). Kelly previously reached the Billboard 200 with the EP Forward, which debuted and peaked at No. 16 in 2013.

Country star Kacey Musgraves is up next on the Billboard 200, as her second album, Pageant Material, debuts at No. 3 with 60,000 units (including 55,000 in pure album sales -- her best sales frame yet). Her 2013 debut Same Trailer Different Park launched at No. 2 with 43,000 -- her previous largest sales week. The new album’s current single, “Biscuits,” has so far peaked at No. 41 on the Country Airplay chart.

Taylor Swift’s 1989 dips 2-4 in its 35th week on the chart (54,000 units; down 6 percent) and last week’s No. 1, James Taylor’s Before This World, falls 1-5 with 50,000 (down 49 percent).

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R&B newcomer Leon Bridges debuts at No. 6 with his first album Coming Home, as it enters with 42,000 units. It also starts at No. 1 on both Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and R&B Albums. The set’s breakout single, “Coming Home,” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard + Twitter Emerging Artists chart in April. During the album’s release week, Bridges played NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (June 22) and garnered coverage on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air (June 25).

Ed Sheeran’s x descends 4-7 with 35,000 units (down 10 percent), Sam Hunt’s Montevallo moves 6-8 with 30,000 units (down 6 percent) and Maroon 5’s V is steady at No. 9 with 27,000 units (down 1 percent).

Rounding out the top 10 is a new entry at No. 10: Walt Disney Records’ Teen Beach 2 TV soundtrack, which sails in with 24,000 units. It follows 2013’s Teen Beach Movie soundtrack, which debuted at No. 8 and later peaked at No. 3.