Childish Gambino's 'Awaken, My Love!' Debuts at No. 1 on R&B Albums Chart
Also, ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’ arrives, along with John Legend’s latest release, and Rihanna notches a new top 10.
Childish Gambino opens atop the R&B Albums chart (dated Dec. 24) as his latest set, Awaken, My Love!, arrives with 72,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 8, according to Nielsen Music. The musician had previously topped the Rap Albums chart with his previous releases, Because The Internet (No. 1 for one week in 2013) and Kauai (EP) (No. 1 for two weeks in 2014). The new release is his first to sonically qualify for the R&B Albums chart.
Two songs that previewed Awaken return to the Hot R&B Songs chart. “Redbone” reaches a new peak, re-entering at No. 8 after originally landing on the Dec. 11 chart at No. 11. The track soars 149 percent in weekly streams, to 8.4 million, with 48 percent of all plays coming from Spotify. He also returns with “Me And Your Mama,” at No. 14. Both tracks were absent from the chart in the previous week (charts dated Dec. 17) as they were pushed off the list due to an influx of new entries by The Weeknd: all 18 tracks from his Starboy set appeared on the 25-position list.
Elsewhere, “Redbone” also comes back onto the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 48, marking Childish Gambino’s best career peak on the overall chart.
‘Hamilton’ Tops Rap Albums: The Hamilton Mixtape, a star-studded reimagining of Lin-Manuel Miranda's broadway hit musical Hamilton, crowns the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums charts -- starting with 169,000 copies sold. Meanwhile, the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton trails at No. 2 on the Rap Albums chart, getting a 43 percent bump in sales (to 28,000 copies in the most recent tracking week). The original set has previously topped the chart for 10 weeks – it is the longest-running No. 1 album on the chart since 2013 (when Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 crowned the chart for 14 weeks).
The Hamilton Mixtape was executive-produced by The Roots’ Questlove, and features A-list acts including Wiz Khalifa, Sia, Busta Rhymes, John Legend and Nas, among others. The set concurrently tops the Billboard 200, where it debuted with 187,000 equivalent units.
John Legend Arrives: The third highest new entry on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums belongs to John Legend’s Darkness and Light, entering at No. 5 with 26,000 copies sold. It’s Legend’s seventh top five entry on the chart, and his first appearance in three years – since Love in the Future debuted at No. 2 (with 68,000 copies) in 2013.
The new album’s lead single “Love Me Now” flies 26-10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, taking Digital Gainer honors. The rise marks Legend’s fifth top 10 on the chart, and is aided in part by 32,000 downloads of the track (up 138 percent). Streams also soar, hiking 37 percent to 6.1 million clicks in the most recent tracking week.
Rihanna’s New Top 10: Rihanna adds a new top 10 to her repertoire, as “Love On The Brain” hops 13-9 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, scoring her 19th career top 10 hit on the chart. Increases in airplay, sales, and streams all trigger the chart climb. On-air, the track received 63.5 million audience impressions in the week ending Dec. 11, a 16 percent rise. 5.8 million domestic streams also contribute to the top 10 ascent, as well as 27,000 digital downloads (up 16 percent).
Rihanna earned her first top 10 on the chart in 2007 when “Umbrella,” featuring Jay Z, reached No. 4. The latest top 10 arrival marks her fourth this year, following “Work" featuring Drake (No. 1 for 11 weeks), “Needed Me” (No. 1 for two weeks), and “Too Good” (No. 3 peak).