On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Sept. 29), Carrie Underwood makes country history at the top of tally, as her Cry Pretty album debuted at No. 1. In doing so, she became the first female artist to take four country efforts to No. 1 on the list. The album started with 266,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Sept. 20, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 251,000 were in traditional album sales.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the rest of the Billboard 200:
— Original Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton: An American Musical – No. 32 — The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical, racks up its 145th week in the top 40 on the Billboard 200 chart (dipping 30-32), surpassing Adele’s 21 for the longest run in the top 40 since Nielsen Music began powering the tally on May 25, 1991.
In fact, Hamilton has logged the second-most weeks in the top 40 since Aug. 17, 1963, when the chart combined its previously separate mono and stereo listings into one overall tally. Since then, only The Sound of Music soundtrack has logged more weeks in the top 40, with 161 (stretched between April 10, 1965 and May 4, 1968).
Hamilton debuted at No. 12 on the Oct. 17, 2015-dated chart, and eventually peaked at No. 3 on July 2, 2016. The set has never ranked lower than No. 60 in its entire 156-week run. Adele’s 21 premiered at No. 1 on March 12, 2011, and notched its 144th week in the top 40 on March 26, 2016, after the release of 21’s follow-up, 25, in November 2015.
Billboard began regularly publishing a weekly albums chart on March 24, 1956. In 1959, the chart split into separate mono and stereo listings, only to fold back into one chart on Aug. 17, 1963. The depth of the charts, before 1963, fluctuated between 10 and 40 positions. After 1963, the list became 150 positions deep, eventually growing to 200 in 1967.
— Tony Bennett & Diana Krall, Love Is Here to Stay – No. 11 — Bennett and Krall’s team-up on Love Is Here to Stay arrives at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 with 36,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 35,000 were in traditional album sales — the largest sales week for any jazz album in nearly two years. The last jazz set to post a bigger sales frame was Norah Jones’ Day Breaks, when it bowed with 44,000 on the Oct. 29, 2016 chart.
Love marks Bennett’s 16th top 40 charting effort on the Billboard 200, and Krall’s 11th. t’s also Bennett’s second collaborative set with a leading lady to reach the top 40, following his chart-topping Cheek to Cheek with Lady Gaga in 2014.
Love also debuts at No. 1 on both the sales-ranked Traditional Jazz Albums and overall Jazz Albums tallies. For Bennett, he ups his No. 1 count on the Traditional Jazz Albums chart to 14, while Krall climbs to 13 leaders. On the overall Jazz Albums list (which blends traditional and contemporary jazz recordings), Love is the ninth topper for Bennett, and the 11th for Krall.
— Khalid, American Teen – No. 34 — The set — which has yet to leave the top 40 after 81 weeks — has earned 2 million equivalent album units (of which 219,000 are in album sales), while its songs have collected 2.4 billion on-demand audio streams.
— Willie Nelson, My Way – No. 36 — Willie Nelson’s latest jazzy release, My Way, debuts at No. 36 on the Billboard 200 with 15,000 equivalent album units earned (14,000 in traditional album sales). The set, featuring covers of standards made famous by Frank Sinatra, bows at No. 2 on the sales-based Traditional Jazz Albums and overall Jazz Albums charts — his fourth album to reach the top two on both tallies.
— Aphex Twin, Collapse (EP) – No. 113 — The electronic artist notches his seventh top 10 on the Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart (No. 2). The five-song album also did particularly well on vinyl — half of its first-week sales (3,000 of 6,000) were on the format.