Panic! at the Disco's 'Pray for the Wicked' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart
“Pray” logs biggest week for an alternative rock album in 2018.
Panic! at the Disco bows atop the Billboard 200 with Pray for the Wicked, earning the act its second No. 1 album on the tally. Panic previously hit the top of the list with its last studio effort, Death of a Bachelor, which opened at No. 1 in 2016.
Pray for the Wicked -- which was released on June 22 via DCD2/Fueled by Ramen -- launches with 180,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 28, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 151,000 were in traditional album sales. Both figures represent the biggest week for an alternative rock album in 2018.
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 July 7-dated chart (where Panic! at the Disco debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Tuesday, July 2.
Pray for the Wicked’s start in both total units and traditional album sales marks the largest week for an alternative rock album since U2’s Songs of Experience debuted at No. 1 on the Dec. 23, 2017-dated chart with 186,000 units (180,000 in album sales). Pray’s handsome sales were encouraged by a pre-order campaign for the album via the act’s official merch store, where pre-orders made by June 21 included early access to purchase tickets to the act’s tour.
Pray also garners a robust start in terms of vinyl album sales, bowing with 26,000 copies sold. That’s the fifth-largest week for a vinyl effort in Nielsen Music history, which dates back to when the company began tracking sales in 1991. (The largest week for a vinyl set belongs to Jack White’s Lazaretto with 40,000 sold in its debut frame in the week ending June 15, 2014.)
Pray was led by the single “Say Amen (Saturday Night),” which became Panic’s first No. 1 on the Alternative Songs airplay chart after 11 previous entries. “Say Amen” ascended to the top of the list dated June 30.
XXXTentacion’s former No. 1, ?, continues to move back up the Billboard 200 following the rapper/singer’s death on June 18. The set rises 3-2 with 86,000 units (though down 9 percent). XXXTentacion’s 17 also climbs, rising 7-5 with 45,000 units (down 18 percent).
Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys moves 4-3 with 75,000 units (down 10 percent) while The Carters’ Everything Is Love dips 2-4 with 59,000 units (down 52 percent).
Country duo Dan + Shay collect its third top 10 effort, as its self-titled third studio set debuts at No. 6 with 44,000 units (24,000 in traditional album sales). The act previously visited the top 10 with its first two albums: Obsessed (No. 8 in 2016) and Where It All Began (No. 6, 2014).
Juice WRLD’s Goodbye & Good Riddance steps 8-7 with 44,000 units (up 2 percent), Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy shifts 9-8 with 43,000 units (down less than 1 percent) and the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman returns to the top 10 after one week away from the region, as it climbs 12-9 with 33,000 units (down 7 percent).
Closing out the top 10 is 5 Seconds of Summer’s Youngblood, which falls from No. 1 to No. 10 in its second week (30,000 units; down 79 percent).