Ariana Grande's 'Sweetener' Album Is on Track For U.K. No. 1

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Ariana Grande attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Aug. 20, 2018 in New York City. 

Ariana Grande has found the sweet spot on the midweek U.K. chart with Sweetener (Republic Records), her fourth studio album.   

In just three days, Sweetener has clocked up 26,000 combined sales and has already outpaced the first full week of activity for her most recent and best-selling record to date, 2016’s Dangerous Woman, according to the Official Charts Company.   

Sweetener leads the Official Chart Update and is on track to reign over the weekly chart when it’s published late Friday. Sweetener would be Grande’s second U.K. No. 1 after Dangerous Woman; her 2013 debut Yours Truly peaked at No.  7 and My Everything from 2014 reached No. 3.    

Last week’s chart leader, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (Polydor), slips to No. 2, trailing Sweetener by 15,000 combined sales at the halfway point.     

Meanwhile Manchester-born rapper Bugzy Malone is on target for a fourth successive Top 5 album with B. Inspired (BSomebody), which sits at No. 5 on midweek survey, while homegrown alternative rock outfit Slaves start at No. 6 with Acts Of Fear And Love (EMI), their third album. Also at the midway point of the chart cycle, London singer-songwriter Gabrielle is eyeing her first top 10 in 14 years with Under My Skin (BMG), new at No. 7.     

Following her passing last Thursday, Aretha Franklin’s catalogue is returning to the main charts as fans reach out for the Queen of Soul’s music.    

On the Official Singles Chart Update, “I Say A Little Prayer For You” (WEA) leads the pack at No. 22 and is poised to be the legendary singer’s first chart entry in 50 years. Franklin’s signature hit "R.E.S.P.E.C.T," "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and her 1987 collaboration with George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” are also racing up the chart, while five LPs impact the Official Albums Chart Update, led by Soul Queen (Rhino) at No. 8.

George Ezra is shooting for a fourth non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart with “Shotgun” (Columbia). It’s the best-seller on the midweek survey, ahead of Drake’s “In My Feelings” (Cash Money/Republic Records) and Benny Blanco’s “Eastside” (Interscope) featuring Halsey & Khalid, as Calvin Harris and Sam Smith’s collaboration “Promises” (Columbia) bows at No. 5.