Further, Zayn is the first male U.K. artist to reach No. 1 with their first album since George Michael climbed to the top of the list in 1988 with Faith. (Faith didn’t debut at No. 1 -- it started at No. 41, and rose to the top in its ninth week on the chart.)
Zayn is also the first U.K. act (solo or otherwise) to debut at No. 1 with their first album since his former group, One Direction, launched atop the list in 2012 with Up All Night (on the March 31, 2012-dated chart). One Direction scored three further leaders with Zayn as part of its lineup: Take Me Home, Midnight Memories and Four.
Speaking of One Direction, Zayn is now one of the relative few solo artists to have achieved a No. 1 as part of a group and also as a soloist. He stands alongside artists like Justin Timberlake (who topped the list with *NSYNC and on his own), Gwen Stefani (with No Doubt) and Beyonce (with Destiny’s Child).
In even more firsts: Zayn is the first U.K. act to bow at No. 1 with their first album on both the Billboard 200 and the Official U.K. Albums Chart since Susan Boyle started atop both lists with I Dreamed a Dream in 2009.
Mind of Mine was led by the single “Pillowtalk,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (dated Feb. 20). The achievement made Zayn the first U.K. artist to bow at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with their first charted single.
Coming in at No. 2 on the new Billboard 200 chart is K. Michelle with More Issues Than Vogue (59,000 units; 54,000 in pure album sales). The start matches her high-water mark on the list, first achieved with her debut effort, Rebellious Soul, when it opened at No. 2 on the Aug. 31, 2013 list. More Issues Than Vogue is the singer’s third top 10 effort. Following Rebellious Soul, she notched a second top 10 with Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart? in 2014 (debuting and peaking at No. 6).
In a bit of chart trivia, the word vogue has barely registered on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Previous to this week, the last time the word appeared in the title of a charting album on the Billboard 200 was way back in 1970, when The Vogues’ The Vogues’ Greatest Hits completed a nine-week run on the chart. (It peaked at No. 148 on Feb. 14, 1970.)
Of course, “Vogue” has been the title of a No. 1 song for Madonna on the Hot 100 -- the word’s only appearance on the list, in fact.
Back on the new Billboard 200, Rihanna’s Anti holds at No. 3 (50,000 units; down 4 percent), Justin Bieber’s Purpose rises 5-4 (48,000; up 3 percent), Adele’s 25 slips 4-5 (47,000; down 9 percent) and Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface climbs 7-6 (41,000; up 27 percent). The latter title is also up 52 percent in pure album sales (to 21,000 sold for the week), thanks largely to a $6.99 sale price in the iTunes Store. (A promotion that the band made their fans aware of through both Twitter and Facebook.)
Young Thug claims his highest charting album yet (and first top 10) with the arrival of Slime Season 3 at No. 7 (38,000 units; 22,000 in sales). He previously charted with a pair of No. 22-peaking sets: I’m Up in 2016 and Barter 6 in 2015.
Chris Stapleton’s Traveller dips 6-8 with 31,000 units (down 6 percent).
Rock band Asking Alexandria earns its third top 10 album with the bow of The Black at No. 9 (30,000 units; 28,000 in pure album sales). It follows From Death to Destiny (No. 5 in 2013) and Reckless & Relentless (No. 9 in 2011).
Rounding out the top 10 is The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness at No. 10 (up three spots) with just under 30,000 units (up 18 percent).