Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. holds steady atop the Billboard 200 albums chart for a third week, as the set earned 173,000 equivalent album units in the week ending May 4 (down 28 percent), according to Nielsen Music.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new May 20-dated chart (where DAMN. is No. 1 for a third week) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, May 9.
Of DAMN.’s units for the week, 57,000 were in traditional album sales (down 37 percent). The rest were in TEA (12,000; down 16 percent) and SEA (105,000; down 23 percent).
DAMN. has spent more weeks at No. 1 than any of Lamar’s previous leaders. He spent one week at the top with Untitled Unmastered in 2016, and two weeks at No. 1 with To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015.
At a career-best-tying No. 2 on the Billboard 200, Gorillaz debut with Humanz, starting with 140,000 units (115,000 in traditional album sales). That’s the best sales week yet for the animated band, which had previously seen a one-week sales high of 112,000 when Plastic Beach launched at No. 2 in 2010. Humanz is Gorillaz’s third top 10 effort, following Plastic Beach and the No. 6-peaking Demon Days in 2005.
Mary J. Blige returns to the Billboard 200 with Strength of a Woman, which debuts at No. 3 with 78,000 units (72,000 in traditional album sales). The set gives the queen of hip-hop/soul her highest charting album in more than seven years – since Stronger With Each Tear debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Jan. 9, 2010-dated list. The new album also grants Blige her best sales week since 2011, when My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1) bowed with 156,000 sold in its first week.
All told, Blige has now accumulated 20 entries on the Billboard 200 chart, stretching back to her debut effort nearly 25 years ago, What’s the 411?, which bowed on the Aug. 15, 1992-dated tally at No. 59. It would later peak at No. 6 – her first of 14 top 10 albums.
Drake’s More Life slips from No. 2 to No. 4 on the new Billboard 200, with 68,000 units (down 11 percent) while Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) dips from No. 3 to No. 5 with 50,000 units (down 10 percent). The sets led the Billboard 200 for three and two weeks, respectively.
The latest edition of the various artists compilation series Epic AF starts at No. 6 with 48,000 units, powered by SEA (29,000 units) and TEA (20,000). The album is available for purchase through digital retailers, but sold a negligible figure during the tracking week. The set’s 11-song tracklist is led by DJ Khaled’s red-hot single “I’m the One,” featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne. As Epic AF is the only album currently available with “I’m the One,” the set earns the song’s TEA and SEA generated during the tracking week. The newest permutation of Epic AF is the second in the series to reach the top 10, following the No. 5 peaking first edition (also named Epic AF) on the Aug. 13, 2016-dated list.
Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic falls 5-7 with 41,000 units (down 2 percent) while the Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 soundtrack is steady at No. 8 with 40,000 units (up 15 percent). The latter album was released on CD on April 28, following its digital-only debut a week earlier. The album could see a significant jump up the tally on next week’s chart (dated May 27, reflecting the tracking week ending May 11), following the film’s North American theatrical premiere on May 5.
The Chainsmokers’ Memories…Do Not Open slips 6-9 with 36,000 units (down 12 percent).
Rounding out the top 10 is Willie Nelson, who bows at No. 10 with God’s Problem Child (36,000 units; 34,000 in traditional album sales). It’s the music legend’s sixth top 10 effort – four of which have occurred since 2013. He has visited the top 10 previously with Django and Jimmie (No. 7 in 2015, with Merle Haggard), Band of Brothers (No. 5; 2014), To All the Girls… (No. 9; 2013), Always On My Mind (No. 2; 1982) and Wanted! The Outlaws (No. 10 in 1976, with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser).