Ariana Grande's 'Thank U, Next' Spends Second Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart
Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next spends a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, making it the first album by a solo woman to spend more than a single week at No. 1 in over a year.
Thank U earned 151,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 21 (down 58 percent from its debut of 360,000 units), according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 20,000 were in album sales (down 82 percent).
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 March 2-dated chart (where Thank U holds at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Feb. 26.
Thank U’s second week sum of 151,000 units is mostly comprised of SEA units: 124,000. That figure translates to 168.6 million on-demand audio streams for the album’s songs in its second week (down from 307 million in its debut frame, when it set the record for both an album by a woman and for a pop album). The 168.6 million streaming figure for Thank U’s second week easily makes it the most streamed album of this week, and also ranks it as the third-largest week for a woman ever (trailing its own debut frame, plus the first week of Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, with 202.6 million) and the second-biggest week ever for a pop album (after only Thank U’s debut week).
Thank U also marks Grande’s first album to tally more than just a single week atop the list. Her three previous leaders all locked up one frame each at No. 1.
Plus, Thank U is first album by a solo woman to earn more than one week at the top in over a year, since Taylor Swift’s reputation tallied four nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 (its first three: Dec. 2-Dec. 16, 2017, and then Jan. 6, 2018). (In between reputation and Thank U, the A Star Is Born soundtrack, credited to both Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, spent three frames at No. 1.)
Meanwhile, since reputation was last No. 1 (from the Jan. 13, 2018 through March 2, 2019-dated charts), five albums by solo men have spent at least two weeks atop the list: A Boogie Wit da Hoodie’s Hoodie SZN(two weeks), 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was (two), Travis Scott’s Astroworld (three), Drake’s Scorpion (five) and Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys (three).
Perhaps more surprising, of the 43 No. 1s since reputation was last on top, only five were by solo women. Grande’s two No. 1s: Sweetener and Thank U, Next; Camila Cabello’s Camila, Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, and Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty. Twenty-four were by solo men, 11 were from groups (and all of those groups were comprised entirely of men) and three were soundtracks (The Greatest Showman, Black Panther, and Gaga and Cooper’s A Star Is Born).
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, the soundtrack to Bohemian Rhapsody hits a new peak, as it rises 3-2 with 56,000 units (up 17 percent) as it continues to bask in the glow of the film’s home video release on DVD and blu-ray on Feb. 12. The set beats its previous chart high of No. 3.
With Bohemian’s new chart peak, it's now solely Queen’s second-highest charting effort, breaking out of a tie with the No. 3-peaking News of the World, from 1978. Ahead of Bohemian is Queen’s only No. 1, 1980’s The Game.
The A Star Is Born soundtrack slips 2-3, despite a 3 percent increase (to 51,000 units). The former No. 1 has yet to depart the top 10, encompassing its first 20 weeks on the chart.
Both Bohemian and Star are primed for further gains on next week’s chart in the wake of Sunday’s (Feb. 24) Academy Awards. The two films are both up for best picture and have five and eight total nominations, respectively. Plus, Queen is slated to open the Oscars broadcast with a performance, while Gaga and Cooper are scheduled to perform Star’s hit single “Shallow,” which is nominated for best original song.
At No. 4 on the Billboard 200, Florida Georgia Line’s Can’t Say I Ain’t Country starts at No. 4, giving the country duo its fourth top five effort. The set enters with 50,000 units (29,000 in album sales). The act’s last album, Dig Your Roots, entered at No. 2 on the Sept. 17, 2016-dated chart with 145,000 units.
The mixtape, which was originally released for free in early 2009, but never commercially issued or distributed to streaming services until Feb. 15 of this year, made its commercial and streaming debut to celebrate Gone’s 10th anniversary.
While the full So Far Gone album never previously charted on Billboard’s charts (back in 2009, an album needed to be commercially released in order to chart), a distillation of the set did reach Billboard tallies that year. The So Far Gone EP was released later in 2009 as Drake’s first commercially released album (through Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records). The EP combined five tracks from the full-length mixtape (including his first Billboard Hot 100 hit, the No. 2-peaking “Best I Ever Had”), along with two new cuts. The So Far Gone EP debuted and peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 dated Oct. 3, 2009.
Closing out the new Billboard 200’s top 10 are a quintet of previous No. 1s. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie’s Hoodie SZN falls 4-6 (39,000 units; down 10 percent), Post Malone’s beerbongs dips 5-7 (34,000 units; down 14 percent), Travis Scott’s Astroworld drops 6-8 (33,000 units; down 12 percent), 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was descends 7-9 (32,000 units; down 12 percent) and Meek Mill’s Championships is steady at No. 10 (32,000 units; down 6 percent).