Toni Braxton & Babyface’s Triumphant No. 1 Return to Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Marc Baptiste

Babyface and Toni Braxton

The duo's album unseats Beyonce for the first time since its December debut

Toni Braxton and Babyface return to the summit of Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums as their duet set “Love, Marriage & Divorce” moves 67,000 in its debut week for a debut at No. 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The impressive opening marks Braxton’s fifth leader on the list and, surprisingly, only Babyface’s second.

Braxton began her career in style, as her first three releases, “Toni Braxton” (three weeks in 1993), “Secrets” (1996) and “The Heat” (2000) topped the list. It would be 10 years later, with “Pulse” (2010), before she would score again.

Toni Braxton, Babyface Heading for Their Highest Charting Album in Years

For Babyface, the gap between the rise of this current set and his only prior No. 1 is nearly 24 years (23 years and 10 months) and nearly an all-time record for longest stretch between chart-toppers. He last ruled the list with his sophomore smash “Tender Lover,” which ended an 11-week run at No. 1 on the chart dated April 21, 1990. His extended No. 1 hiatus is second only to Sade (by a scant two weeks) in Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums history. The band's “Promise” (1986) and “Soldier of Love” (2010) were separated by 23 years, 10 months and 2 weeks.

Longest Gaps Between No. 1s on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums

Sade: 4/12/86 - 2/27/10 = 23 years, 10 months, 2 weeks
Babyface: 4/21/90 - 2/22/14 = 23 years, 10 months
The Isley Brothers: 6/4/83 - 8/25/01 = 18 years, 2 months, 3 weeks
Barry White: 11/4/78 - 10/22/94 = 15 years, 11 months, 3 weeks
Quincy Jones: 6/8/74 - 12/16/89 = 15 years, 6 months, 1 week
Prince: 10/19/91 - 4/8/06 = 14 years, 5 months, 2 weeks
Gladys Knight: 11/23/74 - 12/12/87 = 13 years, 3 weeks
Luther Vandross: 6/22/91 - 6/28/03 = 12 years, 1 week
Gerald Levert: 11/16/91 - 11/15/03 = 12 years

The debut of “Love, Marriage & Divorce” knocks “Beyonce” out of the top spot for the first time since its No. 1 debut on Dec. 28 (eight weeks at the top). With the 38,000 copies sold this week (down 20%), Bey’s surprise set has now sold 1.7 million to date.

Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” holds tight at No. 3 in its 15th week with a 4% gain to 22,000 while Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” dips 2-4 (following its GRAMMY boost last week) with a 55% drop to 13,000. Drake’s “Nothing was the Same” closes out the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums’ top five with a 4-5 slide in its 21st week. It dropped 18% to 12,000 units.

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Narrowly missing the top 10 is Ruben Studdard’s sixth studio album “Unconditional Love,” opening at No. 11 with 6,000 copies. His best showing on the list was his 2003 debut “Soulful” which bowed with 417,000 first-week copies and spent its first two frames at No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. That impressive figure was spurred by Studdard’s win in the second season of Fox’s “American Idol.”