After a nearly 20-year wait, Backstreet Boys are back on top of the Billboard 200 chart. The group debuts at No. 1 on the list with its new studio album DNA, marking the vocal quintet’s third No. 1, and first leader since Black & Blue spent two weeks at No. 1 in December of 2000.
DNA was released on the Boys’ label K-BAHN, via RCA Records, on Jan. 25. The set earned 234,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Jan. 31, according to Nielsen Music, with album sales comprising 227,000 of that sum. DNA is also the top-selling album of the week.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Feb. 9-dated chart — where DNA debuts at No. 1 — will be posted in full on Billboard‘s websites on Feb. 5.
Boys & a Beatle: Backstreet Boys last led the Billboard 200 way back on Dec. 16, 2000, when Black & Blue spent its second and final week in charge. Now, 18 years and nearly two months later, the group is back at No. 1. That’s the longest gap between No. 1 albums for an act since last year, when Paul McCartney returned to the top after 36 years. His Egypt Station set bowed at No. 1 on the chart dated Sept. 22, 2018 — 36 years, 3 months and 10 days after Tug of War last led the list (June 12, 1982).
Longest Gap Between No. 1s for a Group Since 2010: In terms of the longest wait between No. 1s for a group, Backstreet Boys’ gap between leaders is the biggest since 2010. That year, on the Feb. 27-dated list, Sade (led by vocalist Sade Adu) returned to No. 1 after more than 24 years. That week, the band’s Soldier of Love opened atop the list — the act’s first week at No. 1 since Promise spent its second and final week in charge on Feb. 22, 1986.
10 Top 10 Albums: DNA also marks Backstreet Boys’ 10th top 10 album — the entirety of the act’s charting efforts. Their first top 10 came with their self-titled U.S. debut, which bowed at No. 29 on the list dated Aug. 30, 1997, and eventually peaked at No. 4 on Jan. 31, 1998. The group previously led the list with Millennium (10 weeks at No. 1 in 1999) and Black & Blue. The last group to hit the top 10 with each of their its first 10 charting albums was Led Zeppelin, between 1969 and 1982.
Biggest Week for a Pop Album in Nearly a Year: DNA’s opening sum of 234,000 units earned is the biggest week for a pop album since Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods bowed at No. 1 on the Feb. 18, 2018-dated list with 293,000 units. DNA has the largest week among all albums, regardless of genre, since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V launched at No. 1 on Oct. 13, 2018 with 480,000 units.
Backstreet Boys’ Largest Sales Week Since 2005: Of DNA’s total unit start of 234,000 units, album sales comprise the bulk of that sum: 227,000. That’s the biggest sales week for any Backstreet Boys album since the July 2, 2005-dated chart, when Never Gone arrived at No. 3 with 291,000 copies sold.
DNA also has the largest sales week, overall, for any album since Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty sold 251,000 copies in its premiere week (list dated Sept. 29, 2018). DNA’s opening sales is the biggest for a pop album since Timberlake’s Man of the Woods sold 242,000 in its first frame.
DNA’s sizable sales are powered strongly by those generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with the act’s upcoming U.S. arena tour. The trek starts July 12 in Washington D.C., and is slated to play over 30 dates.
DNA was preceded by the single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” which reached No. 18 on the Pop Songs airplay chart last August. It marked the group’s first top 20 hit on the tally since 2005’s “Incomplete” peaked at No. 8. The Grammy Award-nominated track also reached No. 9 on the Adult Pop Songs airplay chart — the group’s first top 10 ever on the chart.
DNA’s new single, “Chances,” holds at No. 19, its peak, on the newest Adult Pop Songs airplay chart (dated Feb. 2).
Back on the new Billboard 200, Future’s Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD falls a spot to No. 2 in its second week, with 56,000 equivalent album units earned (down 56 percent). A Boogie Wit da Hoodie’s Hoodie SZN is steady at No. 3 with 47,000 units (down 4 percent) and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born soundtrack climbs 8-4 with 40,000 units (up 15 percent).
Weezer’s new all-covers self-titled release, dubbed the Teal Album, vaults 47-5 with 39,000 units (up 184 percent) after its first full week of chart tracking activity. It’s the ninth top 10 for the band. The surprise-released 10-song set boasts such covers as Weezer’s hit redux of Toto’s “Africa,” as well as its take on TLC’s “No Scrubs.” While the set’s rise was powered by album sales (27,000), it still racked up a decent streaming number. The set generated 10,000 in SEA units, which translates to 12.5 million on-demand audio streams for its tracks. (That’s more than Billboard 200’s No. 1 album of the week, Backstreet Boys’ DNA, which tallied 5,000 SEA units, equaling 6.6 million streams of its 12 songs.)
The Teal Album debuted at No. 47 on the Feb. 2-dated chart, after only one day of activity, as it dropped without warning on Jan. 24, the final day of that chart’s tracking week.
Rounding out the top 10 of the new Billboard 200: Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys shifts 7-6 with 36,000 units (up 1 percent), Meek Mill’s Championships falls 6-7 with nearly 36,000 units (down 2 percent), 21 Savage’s I Am > I Was descends 5-8 with 35,000 units (down 6 percent), Travis Scott’s Astroworld moves 10-9 with 34,000 units (up less than 1 percent) and the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack declines 4-10 with nearly 34,000 units (down 13 percent).