Anti bowed at No. 27 after being available for only a fraction of the chart’s tracking week. The album was released through Tidal's streaming service on the evening of Jan. 27, commercially released the next day (again, through Tidal), and became widely available to all digital retailers on Jan. 29.
A physical CD release followed on Feb. 5. Those sales are not part of the new chart's tracking week, but will impact next week's charts (which reflect the tracking frame of Feb. 5-11).
Anti's first full week of sales (124,000) was likely tempered by the album's previous availability as a free download, supported by Samsung. It was given away beginning on Jan. 27 in a limited quantity and generated 1.47 million downloads globally in less than 15 hours. Those gratis downloads did not count toward the charts or Nielsen Music's sales figures.
Rihanna previously led the Billboard 200 with her last studio effort, 2012’s Unapologetic. It launched with 238,000 copies sold in its first week.
Anti is also Rihanna’s eighth top 10 album — every one of her studio efforts has reached the region. She first hit the top 10 with her debut album, Music of the Sun, which bowed and peaked at No. 10 on the chart dated Sept. 17, 2005.
Chart fans may appreciate this trivia tidbit: As Anti jumps 27-1 on the Billboard 200, it scores the biggest jump to No. 1 in eight years. Radiohead’s In Rainbows was the last album to log a bigger leap to No. 1, when it moved from No. 156 to No. 1 on the Jan. 19, 2008-dated chart. (In Rainbows debuted at No. 156 due to early sales of its album in stores, before its official release date.)
Coming in at No. 2 on the new Billboard 200 is Kevin Gates’ new Islah, which starts with 112,000 units (93,000 in album sales). It’s easily the rapper’s highest charting album yet, and best sales week. He previously peaked at No. 17 with 2014’s By Any Means, but notched his best sales frame with that same year’s Luca Brasi 2: A Gangsta Grillz Special Edition (23,000 sold in its first week).
With Rihanna and Gates leading the list — and also at Nos. 1 and 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart — it’s the first time the Billboard 200’s top two titles are of the R&B/hip-hop genre since the Oct. 24, 2015-dated list. That week, Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable debuted at No. 1, while The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness rose 5-2.
Back on the new Billboard 200 chart, Adele’s 25 falls 1-3 in its 11th chart week, with 106,000 units (down 9 percent). With another 89,000 copies of 25 sold in the most recent tracking week, the album’s total U.S. sales have now surpassed 8 million (8.03 million to be more exact).
Sia’s new This Is Acting arrives at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart with 81,000 units (68,000 in pure album sales). It’s the singer/songwriter’s best sales week yet, and her second top five-charting album. It follows 2014’s 1000 Forms of Fear, which debuted at No. 1 (52,000 copies sold in its first week).
Justin Bieber’s Purpose dips 5-2 in its 12th charting week, with 73,000 units (down 16 percent).
Charlie Puth’s debut full-length album, Nine Track Mind, enters at No. 6 with 65,000 units (47,000 in pure album sales). The singer/songwriter previously visited the chart with the EP Some Type of Love, which peaked at No. 37 last August.
Puth has so far notched four charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including the No. 1 (for 12 weeks) smash “See You Again” (with Wiz Khalifa) and the new album’s “One Call Away” (which climbed 26-22 on the Hot 100 chart dated Feb. 13).
As for the rest of the new top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart: Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface falls 4-7 (43,000 units; but up 1 percent), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller moves 7-8 (33,000; down 3 percent), Bryson Tiller’s Trapsoul rises 10-9 (32,000; up 4 percent) and G-Eazy’s When It’s Dark Out climbs 12-10 (31,000; up 15 percent).