On the latest Billboard 200 chart (dated May 2), Shawn Mendes debuted at No. 1 with his first full-length album, Handwritten. The set, released April 14 on Island Records, moved 119,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 19 (according to Nielsen Music). It led a total of four debuts in the top 10, as it was joined by new arrivals from Reba McEntire (Love Somebody, No. 3), Tyler, The Creator (Cherry Bomb, No. 4) and Halestorm (Into the Wild Life, No. 5).
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the chart:
— Taylor Swift, 1989 - No. 7 — After 24 consecutive weeks (six months!) in the top five, Taylor Swift's 1989 slips out of the region for the first time, dipping 5-7 with a 13 percent decline in equivalent album units. It was only the ninth album to spend its first 24 weeks in the top five since the chart combined its separate mono and stereo listings into one all-encompassing tally in 1963.
— Little Big Town, Pain Killer – No. 17 — Following the country quartet’s performance of its song “Girl Crush” on the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards (April 19), the single’s parent album Pain Killer flies 58-17 with 136 percent overall unit gain. The album sold 11,000 copies last week — up 165 percent — to its best sales frame since last November. Its No. 17 rank is its highest placing since its debut week (dated Nov. 8, 2014) when it arrived at No. 7. As for “Girl Crush” itself, the song logged the largest sales week for a country track in 2015: it sold 97,000 downloads (up 126 percent).
— Dance Gavin Dance, Instant Gratification – No. 32 — The rock band claims its first top 40 album as Instant Gratification arrives at No. 32. The group also claims its biggest sales week ever, as the album sold 15,000 in its first week.
— Sabrina Carpenter, Eyes Wide Open – No. 43 — The latest Disney Channel actor-turned-Disney Music Group recording artist has arrived on the Billboard 200: Sabrina Carpenter. The 15-year old actress/singer, who stars in the TV series Girl Meets World, debuts at No. 43 with her first full-length album, Eyes Wide Open. (It bows with 12,000 equivalent album units moved in the week ending April 19, according to Nielsen Music.)
The Hollywood Records set follows her debut EP, Can’t Blame a Girl For Trying, which reached No. 16 on Heatseekers Albums last year and has sold 17,000 copies.
— Dierks Bentley, Riser – No. 61 — The country star performed the album's title track on the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards on April 19, sparking the set's 91 percent unit gain and jump from No. 145 to No. 61. The song tallies a 1,801 percent gain to 4,000 downloads sold.
— Earl Sweatshirt, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside – No. 73 — Following a month of digital exclusivity, the album was released on CD on April 14, thus prompting its overall 207 percent unit gain (to 7,000 for the week). It re-enters at No. 73.
— Daryl Hall / John Oates, The Very Best of Daryl Hall John Oates - No. 79 — Sale-pricing in the iTunes Store aid the set's overall 246 percent unit increase (and re-entry at No. 79). The album surpassed 1 million in total sales in January.
— Beth Hart, Better Than Home - No. 133 — The singer/songwriter collects her first non-collaborative chart entry since 2000, as Better Than Home enters with 5,000 units. (Since 2000, she's tallied three charting sets with blues luminary Joe Bonamassa.) Her last solo set to chart was Screamin’ For My Supper, which peaked at No. 143 on March 4, 2000.