The queen of hip-hop/soul, Mary J. Blige, returns to No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with her new genre-spanning set The London Sessions.
It’s her tenth No. 1, tying Blige with Aretha Franklin for the most No. 1 albums among women in the chart’s 49-year history. The London Sessions sold 55,000 copies in the week ending Dec. 7, according to Nielsen Music.
Recorded over the course of 30 days at London’s RAK Studios, Blige signed on numerous U.K. artists to collaborate on the set, including Sam Smith and Naughty Boy. Following a well-received feature on Disclosure‘s remix of its own “F For You” earlier this year, Blige collaborated with the British electronic duo for two London tracks: “Follow” and “Right Now.” There was no shying away from incorporating additional dance songs on the set, with the uptempo horn-led “Pick Me Up” and energy-filled “My Loving,” complimenting its collection of vulnerable ballads.
Blige’s signature R&B sound is present throughout the 12-track set with songs like its first single “Whole Damn Year.” The song reaches a new peak on Hot R&B Songs, hopping 20-15 in its seventh week on the list. Upon its Nov. 22 debut, “Damn Year” became her 70th charting track on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (where it leaps 49-39).
Additionally, Blige enters the Billboard Artist 100 at No. 31. The Artist 100 ranks the week’s most popular artists across all genres, measured by album and track sales, as well as radio airplay audience impressions and streaming activity data as measured by Nielsen Music and fan interaction on social networking sites, compiled by Next Big Sound.