The Weeknd's 'Beauty Behind the Madness' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart
The Weeknd rules the Billboard 200 albums chart as the singer's new album, Beauty Behind the Madness, bows at No. 1 with the second-biggest debut of 2015.
The album starts with a whopping 412,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Sept. 3, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 326,000 were pure album sales (his best sales week ever).
With the arrival, The Weeknd earns the second-largest overall weekly unit total and pure sales week for an album this year, behind only the debut of Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late (535,000 units; 495,000 in album sales).
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 Sept. 19-dated chart (where The Weeknd is No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard's Web sites on Wednesday, Sept. 9 (a day later than normal, due to the Labor Day holiday).
Beauty Behind the Madness was released through XO/Republic Records on Aug. 28 and is the third consecutive top 10 album for The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye. It follows 2012's Trilogy (it debuted and peaked at No. 4) and 2013's Kiss Land (a No. 2 debut/peak). The new album was led by three hit singles that have all reached the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 chart: "Earned It" (initially from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack; the song peaked at No. 3), "Can't Feel My Face" (No. 1 for two weeks) and "The Hills" (climbing to a new peak of No. 4 on the Sept. 12-dated chart).
Shortly after the release of Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd performed on the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Aug. 30 and starred in new TV commercials for Apple Music. Six days before the album hit retail, The Weeknd headlined the Billboard Hot 100 Festival on Aug. 22.
An act that will be touring with The Weeknd later this year, Halsey, debuts at No. 2 on the new Billboard 200 chart with her debut full-length album, Badlands. The set, released through Astralwerks Records, opens with 115,000 units (of which 97,000 are pure album sales) and also launches at No. 1 on the Alternative Albums chart.
Badlands secures the second-biggest debut of 2015 for a female artist's first full-length album both in units and pure album sales. It stands behind Meghan Trainor's Title, which bowed with 238,000 units and 195,000 in album sales.
With Badlands' No. 2 start, it gives the Astralwerks label its highest charting album ever, surpassing its previous high of No. 5 (earned when David Guetta's Nothing But the Beat debuted and peaked at the rank in 2011).
Halsey's debut EP, Room 93, reached No. 3 on the Heatseekers Albums chart in 2014 and has 41,000. Badlands' current single, "New Americana," has so far peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart and No. 22 on Alternative Songs.
Luke Bryan's former No. 1 album, Kill the Lights, dips one rung to No. 3 with 50,000 units (down 25 percent). Taylor Swift's 1989 climbs 7-4 with 44,000 units (up 50 percent) and 24,000 in album sales (up 35 percent). Like The Weeknd, Swift performed on the VMAs and also took home multiple awards, including video of the year (for "Bad Blood"). Swift also benefits from the debut of the music video for 1989's new single "Wildest Dreams." It premiered on the VMAs pre-show.
Country duo Maddie & Tae enter at No. 7 with their debut full-length album, Start Here (28,000 units). The pair earlier hit No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart with the album's "Girl In a Country Song" (which was also featured on their self-titled EP). Their current single, "Fly," reached the top 10 on the Country Airplay tally dated Sept. 12 (rising 12-9).
Another duo, but of a more alternative flavor, starts at No. 8: Beach House. The pair's new Depression Cherry bows with 27,000 units and gives the act its second top 10 album, following their previous release, 2012's Bloom (No. 7 debut and peak).
Singer-songwriter Ben Rector nabs his biggest week ever, as his latest studio effort Brand New debuts at No. 9 with 26,000 units (with 25,000 of that pure album sales). It's his best sales week and first top 10 album.
Last week's No. 1 album, Disturbed's Immortalized, falls to No. 10 with just over 26,000 units (down 73 percent) to close out the top 10.