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THIS CHART BELONGS TO KANYE

Pablo Becomes First Album to Hit #1 Based Almost Entirely on Streams

With around 100m streams for The Life of Pablo–which translates to roughly 65k SEA (Stream Equivalent Albums) and 90k SPS (Sales Plus Streaming)–G.O.O.D/Def Jam megastar Kanye West has officially become the first artist in history to reach #1 with a number based almost entirely on streaming alone. See our full SPS Chart, which Kanye has impressively dominated, here.

Although there were some paid downloads from the star’s own website, the overwhelming majority of the number earned came from streaming services, including Apple Music, Spotify and TIDAL.

Meanwhile, Mercury Nashville’s Chris Stapleton soars to #1 on the HITS Album Sales Chart with 59k for breakout set Traveller (#2 at SPS with 73k), following a huge look from the ACM Awards, where he scored six wins. FYI, Traveller was released nearly a year ago and first saw a significant sales spike after a jaw-dropping and insanely reactive performance of now beloved ballad “Tennessee Whiskey” with Justin Timberlake on November’s CMAs. It’s safe to say that the man behind the beard is having a damn good year.

Three new releases follow Stapleton. At #2, Crush Music’s Weezer appear with 43k, while TWENTY88—a collaborative project between G.O.O.D/Def Jam’s Big Sean and Artium/Def Jam’s Jhené Aiko—debuts at #3 with 40k. And Warner Bros. rising star Lukas Graham bows at #4 with 37k for his debut album, as smash hit “7 Years” approaches platinum status. The Danish band is in some solid company, considering they were virtually unknown just a few months ago.

As for the remaining debuts, Big Machine’s Cheap Trick land at #11 with their 17th studio album, Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello–just a week before being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—while Mascot’s Black Stone Cherry hits the #14 spot.

Even excluding Stapleton, the ACMs sparked serious consumer interest, as can be seen throughout the chart. Gaither’s Joey + Rory go #10-7, 19/Arista Nashville’s Carrie Underwood soars #48-19 (up 128%), MCA Nashville’s Sam Hunt jumps #32-29 and Valory/BMLG’s Thomas Rhett goes #38-32, while RCA Nashville’s Chris Young and EMI Nashville’s Eric Church re-enter at #37 and #39, respectively. We’re sure that seeing those numbers feels almost as good as the bottle of Advil did after the Vegas-based awards show.

The country community may have been celebrating this weekend, but the passing of Merle Haggard certainly left a sudden pang in many hearts this week. As fans of the late country icon and songwriting master mourn, his 40 #1 Hits (eOne) re-enters the chart at #40.

Streeting this week are albums from Dualtone’s The Lumineers and Reprise’s Deftones.

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RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
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Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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