Ella Mai earns her third top five album on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart as Heart on My Sleeve debuts at No. 2 on the list dated May 21. The set, released on May 6 through 10 Summers/Interscope Records, begins with 20,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 12.
15,500 of Sleeve’s 20,000 first-week units derive from streaming, equating to 20.9 million U.S. official on-demand streams of the album’s songs. Just over 3,500 units are from traditional album sales, and the remaining sum come through track-equivalent album units. (One unit equals the following levels of consumption: one album sale, 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams for a song on the album.)
Sleeve is the follow up to the singer-songwriter’s self-titled, full-length debut album from 2018, which reigned for 11 weeks beginning in October 2018. Before that, her EP Ready peaked at No. 3 that July. Both projects featured her breakthrough smash, “Boo’d Up,” while the full LP also housed the hit single “Trip.”
Five of Sleeve’s songs appear on the Hot R&B Songs chart, including three debuts. “How,” featuring Roddy Ricch, leads the new arrivals at No. 14, with “Trying” (No. 23) and “Didn’t Say,” featuring Latto (No. 24) completing the trio. In addition, current single “DMFU” ascends 9-7 to reach its highest peak in 15 weeks on the chart, and previous release “Leave You Alone” returns at No. 22 to match its previous best showing.
“DMFU” also registers increases in radio airplay amid the album rollout. Though the single reverses 6-7 on the Adult R&B Airplay chart, it added 7% more plays in the latest tracking week (ending May 15) compared with the week prior. The track also resides in the top 10 on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, climbing 10-9 after a 9% gain in weekly plays. Thanks to strength at both formats, “DMFU” holds its No. 8 rank on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, which combines radio audience from both adult and mainstream-leaning stations.