Six Key Numbers From Ariana Grande's Record-Breaking Week
She want it, she got it! With the release of her fifth LP Thank U, Next on Feb. 8, Ariana Grande has catapulted herself into yet another level of the pop cultural stratosphere, a rarified space of shattered records and chart successes that even the brightest stars rarely attain.
Capitalizing on a perfect storm of musical inspiration and optimal timing, Grande seized the moment following the release of Sweetener in September to write, record and release her full-length follow-up in the space of less than six months.
By crafting 12 empowering, vulnerable and swaggering pop bangers filled with emotional healing, Grande spun personal trauma, heartbreak and a never-ending stream of tabloid headlines into pure gold. She learned from the pain, turned out an amazing album and in doing so solidified her legacy as Ariana Grande, Pop Superstar.
Below, Billboard breaks down the numbers behind Grande's monumental week.
360,000: Number of first-week units earned for Thank U, Next
Thank U, Next barrelled to the top of the Billboard 200 (dated Feb. 23) with 360,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 14, according to Nielsen Music, marking the biggest debut of the year thus far -- and the biggest week for an album by a female artist since Taylor Swift's reputation earned 1.24 million units in its first frame in November 2017. Grande's latest first-week number is nearly 130,000 units higher than Sweetener's 231,000-unit tally during its opening frame in September.
307 million: Number of on-demand audio streams for Thank U, Next
Grande set a new high-water mark for pop success in the era of streaming with Thank U, Next, which bows with the largest streaming week ever for a pop album -- and for any album by a female artist: 307 million on-demand audio streams earned for its songs in the U.S. in its first week. With Thank U, Next, Grande surpassed the previous most-streamed pop album in any week (Ed Sheeran's ÷ [Divide], which started with 126.7 million U.S. on-demand audio streams for its songs; March 25, 2017) by more than double. The success of Thank U, Next in streaming is especially notable in a landscape so routinely dominated by hip-hop -- in fact, Thank U, Next is the only non-hip-hop album in the top 20 largest-streaming weeks ever for an album, clocking in at number nine.
11: Total weeks at No. 1 for Thank U, Next singles on the Billboard Hot 100
Thanks to the success of her No. 1 hits "Thank, U Next" and "7 Rings," Grande is leading the recent resurgence of pop at the top of the Hot 100. The title track debuted at No. 1 on Nov. 17–becoming the first song by a female artist to open in the top spot since Adele's "Hello" back in 2015 -- and held the top spot for seven nonconsecutive weeks. Earlier this month, the braggadocious "7 Rings" also debuted at the top of the Hot 100 and is currently spending its fourth consecutive week at No. 1.
The accomplishment is even more momentous for the 25-year-old, considering that she had never had a Hot 100-topping hit prior to "Thank U, Next," five albums and 10 top 10 hits into her career. It's also worth noting that Grande is now blocking herself from getting to No. 1 for a third time with her most recent single from Thank, U Next -- the flirty, *NSYNC-interpolating "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" -- which debuts this week at No. 2 behind "7 Rings."
12: Number of songs from Thank U, Next on the Hot 100… the entire set
All 12 songs on Thank U, Next chart this week on the Hot 100, with all but one landing in the top 40. This feat earns Grande the record for most simultaneous top 40 hits by a female artist, besting Cardi B's previous tally of nine in the week Invasion of Privacy made its chart debut in April 2018. Other than her simultaneous trifecta of top three hits (discussed below), a few highlights include the doo-wop-inspired "Needy" debuting at No. 14, certified bop "NASA" rocketing in at No. 17 and the dancehall-tinged "Bloodline" entering at No. 22.
4: Total No. 1 Albums for Ariana Grande on the Billboard 200 albums chart
With its considerable first-week bow, Thank U, Next becomes Grande's fourth LP (of five total) to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. (Only 2016's Dangerous Woman was held off from reaching the top spot, peaking at No. 2 behind Drake's behemoth Views.) This week's chart also marks her second No. 1 album in under six months, following Sweetener's bow at No. 1 on the chart dated Sept. 1.
Grande's reliability at the top of the Billboard 200 is well-documented: upon the release of her 2013 debut album, Yours Truly, she became the 15th female artist to ever have her debut album open at the top of the chart, joining the illustrious ranks of stars like Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson. And to put her four Billboard 200 No. 1s in context among some of her pop star peers, Katy Perry has scored three No. 1 albums in her career, while a No. 1 album eluded Rihanna until her seventh full-length effort, 2012's Unapologetic -- her first of two total to date.
2: Number of artists in Hot 100 history to occupy the top three spots simultaneously
In perhaps her most impressive chart accomplishment to date, Grande becomes just the second artist in the chart's 60-year history to occupy the top three spots on the Hot 100 simultaneously. "7 Rings" is in its fourth week at No. 1, "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" debuts at No. 2 and "Thank U, Next" rebounds from No. 7 to take the third spot. The only other act to pull off such a massive feat? The Beatles, who dominated Nos. 1, 2 and 3 for five weeks (and even owned the entire top five for a week) back at the height of Beatlemania in 1964.
Upon hearing the news, Grande expressed her shock and heartfelt appreciation, tweeting, "i laughed when i saw this bc i thought y'all edited it. thank u from the bottom of my heart. for so many reasons. first time since the beatles huh. that's wild. i thought this was a joke when i saw it i'm not kidding. i love u. so much. always have n will. thank u for everything."