The Weeknd is bound for a No. 1 debut on next week’s Billboard 200 chart with his new album, Starboy, according to industry forecasters. Sources suggest the set could launch with at least 350,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 1. A start that large would give The Weeknd the third-biggest debut of 2016, behind only Drake’s Views (1.04 million units) and Beyoncé’s Lemonade (653,000).
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the new Dec. 17-dated Billboard 200 chart -- where The Weeknd could debut at No. 1 -- is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Starboy was released on Nov. 25 through XO/Republic Records and is the follow-up to his chart-topping Beauty Behind the Madness. The new set was initially released commercially as a download and through streaming services. Its CD release followed three days later on Nov. 28.
Starboy’s lead single -- its title track -- has so far peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Previous to the album’s release and following its bow, The Weeknd offered some high-profile TV performances on Saturday Night Live (Oct. 1), the MTV Europe Music Awards (Nov. 6), the American Music Awards (Nov. 20), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Nov. 24) and The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Nov. 28). He also sat down for interviews with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 (Nov. 24), The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 2) and The New York Times (Nov. 28).