Chart Beat

Chris Stapleton's 'Traveller' & Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo' Both Vying for Top of Billboard 200 Albums Chart

Chris Stapleton Academy of Country Music Awards 2016
 Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Chris Stapleton accepts the award for album of the year for “Traveller” at the 51st annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2016 in Las Vegas. 

West's formerly Tidal-exclusive album was released to all streaming services this week.

Chris Stapleton’s Traveller is eyeing a return to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart dated April 23, while Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo has an outside chance of landing the rapper his seventh straight No. 1.

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 top 10 of the new April 23-dated Billboard 200 chart is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, April 10.

Chris Stapleton Performs 'Fire Away' at the 2016 ACM Awards

Traveller is basking in the glow of Stapleton’s six Academy of Country Music Award wins on April 3, in addition to a profile on CBS' Sunday Morning the same day.

Industry forecasters suggest Traveller may jump back to the top slot with more than 70,000 in equivalent album units earned in the week ending April 7. That’d be a steep jump from the previous frame, when the set shifted 31,000 units (and placed at No. 8). Traveller first hit No. 1 in the wake of another awards show, the Country Music Association Awards (CMAs, Nov. 4), where he duetted with Justin Timberlake and won three trophies. Traveller re-entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1 following the CMAs and spent two weeks in the penthouse.

As for West’s The Life of Pablo, the formerly Tidal-exclusive set’s wide release on April 1 to all streaming services is fueling its likely high chart entry. Forecasters estimate the set could generate 60,000 units for the week. Because of the unique release of The Life of Pablo, that estimated figure is in flux and could grow as the week progresses, thus giving West a shot at the top slot.

Kanye West's 'The Life of Pablo' Now Available to Buy or Stream

The Life of Pablo was initially released on Feb. 13 via Tidal’s streaming service and briefly as a commercial download via West’s official website. The set’s sales and its streams through Tidal were not reported to Nielsen Music, whose data powers the Billboard 200 chart.

In addition to The Life of Pablo’s wide streaming availability on April 1, it was released for sale exclusively as a download through West’s official site.

If The Life of Pablo nabs the No. 1 slot, it will give West his seventh consecutive chart-topper. He previously led the list with Yeezus (in 2013), Watch the Throne (with Jay Z in 2011), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), 808s & Heartbreak (2008), Graduation (2007) and Late Registration (2005).

Aside from The Life of Pablo, other albums heading for high debuts on the new Billboard 200 include Lukas Graham’s self-titled set (around 55,000 to 60,000 units), Twenty88’s self-titled effort (50,000) and Weezer’s White Album (45,000 to 50,000).