On the most recent Billboard 200 chart (dated Sept. 12), The Weeknd crashed in at No. 1 with his debuting Beauty Behind the Madness album, scoring the second-largest bow of 2015 with 411,000 units earned in the week ending Sept. 3 (according to Nielsen Music).
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 Sept. 19 chart:
— Tori Kelly, Unbreakable Smile – No. 17 — The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards and its pre-show pump big gains for a variety of acts showcased on the annual broadcast (Aug. 30), including performers Tori Kelly and Nicki Minaj. Kelly’s performance of “Should’ve Been Us” prompts a 114 percent overall unit gain for its parent album, Unbreakable Smile (53-17 on the Billboard 200) with 19,000 units earned in the week ending Sept. 3, according to Nielsen Music. Minaj, who opened the show with a three-song medley (boasting surprise guest Taylor Swift) and won the first award of the night (best hip-hop video for “Anaconda”) jets 45-24 on the Billboard 200 with The Pinkprint (13,000 units; up 35 percent).
— Jimi Hendrix Experience, Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival – No. 63 — Jimi Hendrix scores his 46th entry on the Billboard 200 albums chart as Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival starts at No. 63. The live set shifted 8,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Sept. 3, according to Nielsen Music (nearly 7,000 were pure album sales).
The Experience Hendrix/Legacy Recordings release celebrates the guitar god’s July 4, 1970 concert at the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival, where he played to an estimated 300,000-400,000 people — the largest audience he ever played to in the U.S. (according to Legacy). An accompanying documentary film about the show, Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church, premiered Sept. 4 on Showtime. (A retail version of the movie will be released on Oct. 30.)
Hendrix has been rather prolific on the Billboard 200 in the last few years, thanks to Experience Hendrix’s licensing partnership with Legacy, which began in 2009. Some of the most notable fruits of their relationship include two top 10 albums of previously unreleased studio recordings: Valleys of Neptune (No. 4 debut and peak in 2010) and People, Hell and Angels (No. 2 in 2013).
— Iration, Hotting Up – No. 79 — Reggae band Iration starts at No. 79 with its fourth full-length album, Hotting Up. The set, which launches with 7,000 units (about 6,000 from album sales — its best sales week ever), also gives the act its second No. 1 on the Reggae Albums chart. It follows 2013’s chart-topping Automatic.
— Van Morrison, The Essential Van Morrison – No. 101 — Following Sony Music’s acquisition of Van Morrison’s catalog, the company issued 33 Van Morrison albums on Aug. 28, in addition to a new compilation: The Essential Van Morrison. The set launches at No. 101 with 6,000 units and marks Morrison’s 44th chart entry. The new album is the 27th charting effort from Legacy’s long-running Essential series, which launched in 2001.
— Darius Rucker, Southern Style – No. 117 — Rucker jumps back onto the list (5,000 units; up 80 percent) with the album’s highest rank since the June 6 chart (No. 112) after he performed on Today (Aug. 28). A Sept. 9 performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live may push a gain on the Sept. 23 chart.
— Barbra Streisand, Partners – No. 185 — The Aug. 28 re-airing of Streisand’s appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show spurs the former No. 1 album’s 372 percent unit gain and reentry. With a 24th chart week, the duets set is now the diva’s longest-charting album since Higher Ground wrapped a 27-week run in 1998. Partners is also approaching the million-sales mark, as its total sales rise to 955,000.