Beyonce Earns Sixth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Lemonade'

Courtesy Photo
Beyonce in a still from the Lemonade visual album.

Beyonce’s Lemonade album charges in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, giving the superstar her sixth chart-topper. The set earned 653,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 28, according to Nielsen Music. Pure album sales comprised 485,000 of that sum. (Lemonade's total unit figure was updated in this story at 12:29 p.m. PT.) 

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The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new May 14-dated chart (where Lemonade is No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, May 3.

Lemonade was introduced on April 23 through its same-titled film, which was soundtracked by the album’s songs, and premiered on HBO. The 12-song visual album was released by Parkwood/Columbia Records following the film’s debut, initially exclusively through Tidal. By Monday, April 25, the album -- which is bundled with the film -- went on sale through other digital retailers, but Tidal remains the only service with streaming rights to the set. A physical version of the album will be released on May 6.

Lemonade scores the biggest week of any album in 2016, both in terms of overall units and in sales.

All six of Beyonce’s studio albums have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Lemonade follows her self-titled album in 2013, 4 (2011), I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008), B’Day (2006) and Dangerously In Love (2003). Beyonce is the only act to reach No. 1 with their first six studio efforts (and the only act to debut atop the list with their first six).

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In addition to her six No. 1s, Beyonce has charted four further albums on the tally: Live at Wembley (No. 17 in 2004), Irremplazable EP (No. 109 in 2007), Above and Beyonce: Video Collection (No. 35 in 2009) and Beyonce: More Only EP (No. 8 in 2014).

Elsewhere in the top 10 of the new Billboard 200 chart, Prince rules with five titles -- all in the top seven of the list -- following the first full week of chart activity following his death on April 21.

His The Very Best of Prince greatest hits collection is pushed down one spot to No. 2 with 391,000 units (though it gains by 118 percent) and 216,000 copies sold (up 116 percent).

The Purple Rain soundtrack is also forced backwards, despite a gain, as it moves 2-3 with 150,000 units (up 117 percent) and 133,000 copies sold (up 113 percent). Two more of Prince’s greatest hits albums rank in the top 10: The Hits/The B-Sides, hits a new peak, as it climbs 6-4 with 106,000 units (up 159 percent) and 56,000 in sales (up 134 percent), while Ultimate also zooms to a new peak, 61-6, with 40,000 units (up 319 percent) and 37,000 in sales (up 317 percent).

With Ultimate’s rise into the top 10 for the first time, it marks Prince’s 19th top 10 album.

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One more Prince album features in the latest top 10: his fifth studio effort, 1999. It climbs 31-7 -- a new chart high -- with 36,000 units (up 154 percent) and 33,000 in sales (up 149 percent). 1999 previously peaked at No. 9 in 1983.

A$AP Ferg collects the second-highest debut on the new Billboard 200, as his Always Strive and Prosper bows at No. 8 with 35,000 units (22,000 in traditional album sales). It’s the second top 10 effort for the hip-hop star, following 2013’s Trap Lord, which debuted and peaked at No. 9 with 32,000 sold.

As for the remainder of the top 10, Rihanna’s Anti dips 4-5 with 50,000 units (up 4 percent), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller falls 7-9 with 33,000 units (down 13 percent) and Justin Bieber’s Purpose holds at No. 10 with 31,000 units (down 14 percent).


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