Big Sean nabs his second No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as I Decided. debuts atop the list, earning 151,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Feb. 9, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 65,000 were in traditional album sales. I Decided. was released on Feb. 3 through G.O.O.D./Def Jam Recordings.
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 Feb. 25, 2017-dated chart (where Big Sean debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Big Sean previously led the chart with his last album, 2015’s Dark Sky Paradise, which bowed with 173,000 units and 139,000 in traditional album sales. The new album also grants the hip-hop star his fourth top five-charting solo effort (and as one-half of the duo Twenty88, he notched another top five set with the act’s self-titled debut in 2016).
As expected, Lady Gaga’s Joanne album roars from No. 66 to No. 2 with 74,000 units (up 818 percent) and 48,000 copies sold (up 1,054 percent). The former No. 1 album gains following Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show performance on Feb. 5, where she played six of her hits, including the Joanne single “Million Reasons.” Elsewhere in the top 10, Gaga’s The Fame re-enters the tally straight in at No. 6 with 38,000 units (up 986 percent) and 17,000 copies sold (up 1,920 percent). She also bounces back onto the list with Born This Way (No. 25 with 17,000 units; up 1,117 percent) and ARTPOP (No. 174 with 5,000 units; up 420 percent).
Back in the top 10, Migos’ Culture dips from No. 1 to No. 3 in its second week, earning another 68,000 units (down 48 percent).
Reba McEntire’s first inspirational album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, starts at No. 4 with 54,000 units (52,000 from traditional album sales). The arrival grants the country superstar her 10th top 10-charting set on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, and a 13th leader on the Top Country Albums chart. Sing It Now also launches at No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart – McEntire’s first entrance on that tally.
The Weeknd’s Starboy falls one position on the Billboard 200 to No. 5 with 47,000 units (down 7 percent) and, below Gaga’s The Fame at No. 6, Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic is steady at No. 7 with 32,000 units (up 2 percent).
The original Broadway cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen makes a splashy debut in the top 10, as it arrives at No. 8 with 29,000 units (25,000 from traditional album sales — all from downloads). It’s the highest debut on the chart by a cast recording since 1961, when the original Broadway cast recording of Camelot bowed at No. 4 on the mono albums chart (before Billboard combined its then-separate mono and stereo charts into one all-encompassing albums chart in 1963). Indeed, Dear Evan Hansen even outpaced the debut chart position of the successful Hamilton: An American Musical album, which bowed at No. 12 (later peaking at No. 3).
Dear Evan Hansen was released to digital retailers and streaming services on Feb. 3 through Atlantic Records (the same label that released Hamilton). The album’s CD edition will arrive to retailers on Feb. 24.
Dear Evan Hansen also logs the third-largest debut sales week for a cast recording since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in 1991. It follows only the debuts of Hamilton: An American Musical (28,000; in 2015) and Rent (43,000 in 1996).
Remarkably, Dear Evan Hansen is just the fourth cast recording to reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 in the last 50 years. In that span of time, the only cast albums to visit the region, before Dear Evan Hansen, were: Hamilton (No. 3 in 2016), The Book of Mormon (No. 3 in 2011) and Hair (No. 1 for 13 weeks in 1969).
Dear Evan Hansen opened on Broadway at Music Box Theatre on Dec. 4, 2016, following preview performances that began on Nov. 14. The show stars Ben Platt (of the first two Pitch Perfect films) and its music and lyrics were written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Pasek and Paul also wrote the bulk of the lyrics for the songs in the movie La La Land, which earned the duo a pair of Academy Award nominations for best original song (“Audition” and “City of Stars”).
Post Malone’s Stoney is a non-mover at No. 9 with 27,000 units (up less than 1 percent).
Rounding out the top 10 is the latest streaming-only compilation: The RCA-List, Vol. 4. It starts at No. 10 with 26,000 units — all from streams. The 36-song effort features a bevy of singles from the RCA label, including many that aren’t found on albums by the various songs’ respective artists.