Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next is eyeing a third week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, according to industry forecasters. Those in the know suggest the set could earn another 110,000 to 115,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 28. If Thank U notches a third frame at No. 1, it would be the first set to spend its first three weeks at No. 1 since Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born soundtrack. Star debuted atop the list dated Oct. 20, 2018, and then spent two further weeks at No. 1.
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 March 9-dated Billboard 200 chart (where Thank U may snared a third week at No. 1) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Speaking of A Star Is Born, the album is basking in the glow of its showcase on the Academy Awards (Feb. 24) and could jump to No. 2 on the list with perhaps 100,000 units (up around 100 percent). There’s an outside chance Star could return to No. 1, but that depends on if the album’s sales and streaming boost generated by the Oscars stays steady through the week.
In the week ending Feb. 21, the album earned 51,000 units, according to Nielsen Music, placing it at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart dated March 2.
On the Oscars, A Star Is Born was nominated for eight awards, including best picture. The movie took home one award: best original song, for “Shallow.” The tune was sung on the show by Gaga and Cooper in a warmly received performance.
Elsewhere in next week’s top five, watch for Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack to get a boost following its parent film’s multiple wins at the Oscars — along with the band’s show-opening performance of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.” The album could tally around 65,000 to 70,000 units for the week (with a possible 15-20 percent unit gain) and retain a position in the top five.
Three more albums could bow in the top 10 next week. Lil Pump’s Harverd Dropout, Gary Clark Jr.’s This Land and Kehlani’s While We Wait. Lil Pump and Clark could collect around 45,000 to 50,000 units each, while Kelani’s effort could start with 30,000 to 35,000 units.