'The Hamilton Mixtape' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart
The all-star compilation album The Hamilton Mixtape debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, earning 187,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Dec. 8, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 169,000 were in traditional album sales. The album -- inspired by the runaway hit stage show Hamilton: An American Musical -- consists of covers of songs from the show and songs inspired by the production. Among the guests on the album: Sia, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Andra Day, Wiz Khalifa, and many more.
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 Dec. 24-dated chart (where The Hamilton Mixtape bows at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
The No. 1-arrival of The Hamilton Mixtape comes following the phenomenal success of the show that inspired the set: Hamilton: An American Musical. The 11-time Tony Award-winning show premiered off-Broadway on Jan. 20, 2015 and moved to Broadway later that year. The show is sold out on Broadway through July of 2017, while its Chicago production (which launched in previews on Sept. 27) is sold out through February of 2017.
The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton peaked at No. 3 on the July 2-dated chart, and has spent 63 weeks (and counting) on the tally. On the latest chart, it moves 10-11 with 45,000 units (though it is up 33 percent). It was remarkably only the third cast recording to reach the top 10 in the last 50 years, following Hair (No. 1 for 13 weeks in 1969) and The Book of Mormon (No. 3 in 2011). The cast recording of Hamilton has so far sold 876,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, is the fifth-biggest selling album of 2016, and is the tenth-biggest selling cast recording since Nielsen began tracking sales in 1991.
The Hamilton Mixtape logs the largest sales week for a compilation album since 2012, when the GOOD Music Cruel Summer album debuted with 205,000 copies sold. The Hamilton Mixtape is also the first compilation to be No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in over two years, since Now 50 led for one week on the list dated May 24, 2014. Further, The Hamilton Mixtape is the first No. 1 compilation that isn’t a Now-branded album since the all-star live charity set, Hope for Haiti Now, spend one week at No. 1 on Feb. 6, 2010.
It’s rare for any compilation album that is not a Now-branded set to lead the Billboard 200. In the past 40 years, 24 compilations have reached No. 1, and Now sets comprise 18 of those titles.
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, The Weeknd’s Starboy slips one rung to No. 2 in its second chart week, with 151,000 units (down 57 percent). Pentatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas is pushed back a slot as well, to No. 3, with 128,000 units (down 2 percent).
The Rolling Stones rock at No. 4 with their new blues covers album, Blue & Lonesome, which debuts with 123,000 units (120,000 in traditional album sales). The set -- which is the band’s first album of all-new recordings since 2005’s A Bigger Bang -- marks the group’s record-extending 37th top 10 effort. (No act has earned more top 10 albums in the history of the chart.) It’s the band’s first new top 10 since A Bigger Bang debuted and peaked at No. 3 with 129,000 copies sold in its first week. (It was also the last album of new tunes written by the group.)
At No. 5 on the new Billboard 200, Childish Gambino earns his highest charting album ever, as Awaken, My Love! debuts with 101,000 units (72,000 in traditional album sales). It’s the second top 10 set for the act (also known as actor Donald Glover), following his last full-length album, 2014’s Because the Internet, which debuted and peaked at No. 7.
Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic falls 4-6 with with 58,000 units (down 20 percent), the soundtrack to Moana descends 5-7 with 53,000 units (down 20 percent) and Pentatonix’s That’s Christmas to Me slips 7-8 with 53,000 units (up 31 percent).
Rounding out the top 10 are two new entries to the chart: Grace VanderWaal’s Perfectly Imperfect EP at No. 9 with 52,000 units (47,000 in album sales) and Kane Brown’s debut full-length self-titled album at No. 10 with 51,000 units (45,000 in album sales).
The 12-year-old VanderWaal won the 11th season of the NBC competition program America’s Got Talent in September after wowing audiences with her self-written material, and was quickly signed by SYCO Music and Columbia Records after winning the show. Her EP features new studio recordings of songs heard on the show, including her breakthrough performance of “I Don’t Know My Name,” which has collected 47 million global views on YouTube through Dec. 11.
As for Brown, the country singer/songwriter’s new set marks his second top 10 effort, following his Chapter 1 EP back in April, which debuted and peaked at No. 9.