Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter V' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 With Second-Largest Streaming Week Ever for an Album
Plus, top 10 debuts for Logic, Cher, Kevin Gates and Tom Petty.
The set, which was released on Sept. 28 via Young Money/Republic Records, makes a splash with 480,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 4, according to Nielsen Music. That sum is the third-largest week for an album in 2018. Further, Tha Carter V also opens with the second-biggest streaming week ever for an album, with 433 million on-demand audio streams logged for its songs in its first week.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Oct. 13-dated chart -- where Tha Carter V debuts at No. 1 -- will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Of Tha Carter V’s 480,000 units, most were driven by SEA units: 325,000. The rest of the title’s opening overall unit sum is comprised of album sales totaling 141,000 and TEA units equaling 14,000.
Lil Wayne’s Fourth No. 1: Tha Carter V is Lil Wayne’s fourth leader on the Billboard 200. He previously topped the tally with Tha Carter IV (two weeks at No. 1 in 2011), I Am Not a Human Being (one week at No. 1 in 2010) and Tha Carter III (three weeks at No. 1, 2008). In total, Tha Carter V is Lil Wayne’s 15th entry on the list and 11th top 10.
Third-Biggest Week for an Album in 2018: As Tha Carter V bows with 480,000 units earned, it registers the third-largest week for an album in 2018. The only bigger weeks were logged by Drake’s Scorpion (732,000 units when it debuted at No. 1 on the July 14-dated tally) and Travis Scott’s Astroworld (537,000 in its debut frame, Aug. 18).
Second-Largest Streaming Week Ever for an Album: Tha Carter V storms in with 325,000 SEA units, which translates to 433 million on-demand audio streams for the album’s tracks in its debut frame. That’s the second-biggest streaming week ever posted by an album. The only larger single-week sum was earned by another album from the Young Money camp: Drake’s Scorpion, when it launched with 745.9 million on-demand audio streams for its tracks earlier this year.
Tha Carter V leads a busy top 10, which includes five debuts, with new arrivals filling out the top four spots. It’s the first time the top four have all been debuts in nearly a year. It last happened on the Nov. 14, 2017-dated tally, when Kenny Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation, Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life, Chris Brown’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon and 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin’s Without Warning bowed at Nos. 1-4, respectively.
On the new Billboard 200, Logic’s YSIV enters at No. 2 with 167,000 units (122,000 from album sales). It’s the hip-hop artist’s second album to reach the top two in 2018, following his chart-topping Bobby Tarantino II on the March 24-dated list. In total, Logic has racked up five top 10s.
YSIV’s opening week was powered by album sales, driven by merchandise/album bundles sold through his official website. The album also generated 2,000 TEA units and 42,000 SEA units (equaling 57.9 million on-demand audio streams for its tracks).
At No. 3, Cher’s Dancing Queen debuts, tying for the diva’s highest-charting solo album ever. Cher also reached No. 3 with her previous studio set, 2013’s Closer to the Truth. (Cher was also one-half of Sonny & Cher, which peaked at No. 2 on the chart in 1965 with Look at Us.)
Dancing Queen -- comprised entirely of ABBA covers -- bows with 153,000 units, of which 150,000 are in album sales. The set generated about 1,000 in TEA units and 2,000 in SEA units. Dancing Queen’s sturdy bow was encouraged by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer for her upcoming U.S. tour, as well as old-fashioned album sales through stores like Target, Walmart, iTunes, Amazon and the like.
Dancing Queen is also the top-selling album of the week, with 150,000 copies sold. It marks Cher’s first No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart and her largest sales week for an album since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in 1991. Cher’s previous biggest one-week sales sum came in 2003, when The Very Best of Cher started with 122,000 copies sold (April 14, 2003 chart).
Dancing Queen also tallies the biggest sales week for a pop album by a woman in 2018, and the second-largest sales frame for a pop set this year (trailing only the debut week of Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods, when it started with 242,000 copies sold on the Feb. 17-dated list). The last pop album by a woman to yield a larger sales week was Taylor Swift’s reputation, which sold 232,000 in its second stanza (chart dated Dec. 9, 2017).
At No. 4 on the new Billboard 200, Kevin Gates’ Luca Brasi 3 bows with 78,000 units (with 18,000 of that sum in album sales). The set starts mostly on the strength of streaming activity, with 59,000 SEA units (translating to 76.1 million on-demand audio streams of the title’s tracks). Luca Brasi 3 is Gates’ third top 10 effort, following By Any Means 2 (No. 4; Oct. 14, 2017) and Islah (No. 2; Feb. 20, 2016).
A quartet of former No. 1s follows Gates on the new chart: Drake’s Scorpion falls 4-5 (56,000 units; down 11 percent), Eminem’s Kamikaze slips 3-6 (50,000 units; down 24 percent), Travis Scott’s Astroworld descends 5-7 (49,000 units; down 14 percent) and Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys moves 6-8 (42,000 units; down 6 percent).
Tom Petty’s archival release An American Treasure arrives at No. 9, giving the rocker his 13th top 10 effort. The retrospective set -- which includes many previously unreleased recordings -- debuts with 34,000 units (32,000 in album sales). An American Treasure is available in an array of configurations, including a 26-track edition and a 60-track deluxe version. The set is Petty’s first posthumous release, following his death on Oct. 2, 2017.
Rounding out the new top 10 is XXXTentacion’s former No. 1 ?, which climbs 14-10 with 32,000 units (up 5 percent).