At No. 2, Nicki Minaj’s Queen arrives, granting the artist her fourth top-two charting album -- extending her own record for the most of any female hip-hop artist. She previously hit the top two rungs with The Pinkprint (No. 2 on the Jan. 3, 2015-dated chart), Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (No. 1, April 21, 2012) and Pink Friday (No. 1, Feb. 19, 2011).
Queen launches with 185,000 equivalent album units earned, of which 78,000 were in traditional album sales. Queen, like Astroworld, saw its sales bolstered by an array of merchandise/album bundles sold via Minaj’s official website. Queen also benefits from sales generated by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with her upcoming co-headlining tour with Future.
Queen’s debut unit sum is the second-largest week for an album by a female artist in 2018, following the opening frame of Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy (255,000 units, chart dated April 21).
Queen bows with 97,000 SEA units, which equates to 128.7 million on-demand audio streams for the set’s songs during its debut frame -- Minaj’s largest streaming week ever for an album.
Drake’s former No. 1, Scorpion, slips one spot to No. 3 on the Billboard 200, with 102,000 units (down 13 percent).
Both Queen and Scorpion were released through Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records. In turn, with both titles in the top three at the same time, Young Money and Cash Money have two concurrent albums in the top three for the first time. Cash Money first visited the top three on the Nov. 20, 1999-dated chart, when Lil Wayne’s Tha Block Is Hot (Cash Money/Universal) debuted and peaked at No. 3. Young Money first hit the top three on July 3, 2010, when Drake’s Thank Me Later (Young Money/Cash Money/Republic) bowed at No. 1.
For Republic, the label’s hot streak continues: In 15 of the last 19 weeks, the label has placed at least one title among the weekly top three.
At No. 4, rapper Trippie Redd scores his highest charting effort yet, as his debut studio album Life’s a Trip arrives with 72,000 units (of which 15,000 were in traditional album sales). He previously visited the chart with a pair of mixtapes: A Love Letter to You 2 (No. 34, Oct. 28, 2017) and A Love Letter to You (No. 64, Jan. 27, 2018).
Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys slips 4-5 with 56,000 units (down 3 percent), while Juice WRLD’s Goodbye & Good Riddance holds at No. 6 with 39,000 units (up 4 percent).
Aretha Franklin’s 30 Greatest Hits jumps back onto the chart, as it re-enters at No. 7 with 35,000 units (with 13,000 of that sum in album sales) following Franklin’s death on Aug. 16. The Hits package is up 13,048 percent in units earned, while the album’s sales soared 12,693 percent. The album’s surge comes largely from one day of reaction to Franklin’s passing, as she died on the final day of the tracking week. In turn, we’ll likely see further gains next week following the first full chart tracking frame after her death.
30 Greatest Hits is Franklin’s highest charting album since 1972, when her landmark gospel release Amazing Grace peaked at No. 7 on the July 22, 1972-dated tally. All told, 30 Greatest Hits is Franklin’s seventh top 10 effort on the Billboard 200, and first since Amazing. Franklin has gone as high as No. 2, twice, with I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967) and Aretha: Lady Soul (1968).
30 Greatest Hits was released in 1985, but didn’t chart until 2012, when it spent two weeks on the list (then-peaking at No. 117).
One step below 30 Greatest Hits is Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, which shifts 7-8 with 34,000 units (down 3 percent).
Jason Mraz collects his fifth top 10 album, as his sixth full-length studio effort Know bows at No. 9 with 33,000 units (26,000 in traditional album sales). The set is his fifth consecutive full-length studio album in a row to reach the top 10, following Yes! (No. 2, 2014), Love Is a Four Letter Word (No. 2, 2012), We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. (No. 3, 2008) and Mr. A-Z (No. 5, 2005). His debut studio set, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, peaked at No. 55 in 2003.
Rounding out the new top 10 is XXXTentacion’s ?, which falls 8-10 with 33,000 units (down 1 percent).