Chart Watch: 'The Hamilton Mixtape' Makes History

Paul Grein
·Writer
Lin-Manuel Miranda on stage for his hit Broadway musical 'Hamilton' - Credit: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive
Lin-Manuel Miranda on stage for his hit Broadway musical ‘Hamilton’ – Credit: Getty Images/CBS Photo Archive

The Hamilton Mixtape enters the Billboard 200 at No. 1. The album features a wide range of pop, R&B, and rap stars performing songs from the smash Broadway musical Hamilton. Among them: The Roots, Nas, Usher, Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, Wiz Khalifa, and Chance the Rapper.

This is by far the most successful spinoff to a Broadway cast album in chart history. Follies — In Concert, featuring Mandy Patinkin and Carol Burnett, reached No. 181 in 1986. Chess: In Concert, featuring Josh Groban and Idina Menzel, reached No. 100 in 2009. A big difference: Those albums were released many years after the musicals played on Broadway.

The Hamilton cast album dips from No. 10 to No. 11 in its 63rd week. The album peaked at No. 3 in June in the wake of the Tony Awards. The album has sold 876K copies since its release in late 2015 — an extraordinary total for a Broadway album this early in its run.


FYI, Hair is the most recent Broadway cast album to reach No. 1. It logged 13 weeks on top in 1969. Since then, four soundtracks to film versions of Broadway shows (Grease, Dreamgirls, Mamma Mia!, and Les Miserables) have hit No. 1. Also since 1969, Barbra Streisand has topped the chart with three collections of Broadway songs.

Composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created the music for Hamilton, has a third album in this week’s top 15. The Moana soundtrack, for which he wrote songs, drops from No. 5 to No. 7 in its third week. The album jumps to No. 1 on Top Soundtracks, displacing Trolls. The movie was No. 1 at the box-office for the third straight weekend.

I told you this last week, but it bears repeating: Disney is pushing two of Miranda’s songs from Moana, “How Far I’ll Go” and “You’re Welcome,” for Oscar noms. If one of them wins Best Song at the Oscars on Feb. 26, Miranda will become the 13th member of the very exclusive EGOT club. Moreover, he would become the youngest person ever to complete the EGOT. Miranda will be 37 at the time by the Oscars — two years younger than the current youngest-ever EGOT winner, Robert Lopez. (Lopez was 39 in 2014 when he won the Oscar for co-writing “Let It Go” from Frozen, which completed his awards sweep). Miranda has won three Tonys, two Grammys, and an Emmy, and he was just nominated today for a Golden Globe for “How Far I’ll Go.” Will he win an Oscar too? Stay tuned.

Top Albums

The Weeknd’s Starboy dips from No. 1 to No. 2 in its second week.

A Pentatonix Christmas dips from No. 2 to No. 3 in its seventh week. The group’s 2014 album That’s Christmas to Me dips from #7 to #8 in its 30th week on the chart. It’s No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums for the 12th (cumulative) week. Pentatonix’s NBC Christmas special airs this week.

The Rolling Stones land their 37th top 10 album as Blue & Lonesome debuts at No. 4. This extends the group’s lead as the act with the most top 10 albums since the album chart became a weekly feature in March 1956. The Stones first cracked the top 10 the week of Dec. 12, 1964 with 12 x 5. Blue & Lonesome is the first Stones album that consists entirely of covers and their first blues project.

Eric Clapton plays slide guitar on one track on the Stones’ album and lead guitar on another. Clapton has cracked the top 10 with three blues albums: From the Cradle (No. 1 in 1994), Riding with the King (a collabo with B.B. King, No. 3 in 2000), and Me and Mr. Johnson (No. 6 in 2004). All three of these albums were nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. (The first two won.) The Stones’ album is sure to be nominated in that category next year.

Blue & Lonesome enters the Official U.K. Albums Chart at No. 1. It’s the Stones’ 12th No. 1 album in their home country. They first topped the U.K. chart with The Rolling Stones in May 1964. (It knocked The Beatles’ With the Beatles out of the top spot.)

Childish Gambino lands his second top 10 album as “Awaken, My Love!” debuts at No. 5. The title has the same ultra-romantic vibe as the 1975’s chart-topping I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It.

Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic drops from No. 4 to No. 6 in its third week.

Grace VanderWaal’s Perfectly Imperfect EP debuts at No. 9. VanderWaal, 12, was the Season 11 winner of America’s Got Talent. She is the youngest artist to land a top 10 album since Jackie Evancho, who was just 10 in November 2010 when she debuted at No. 2 with her EP, O Holy Night. Evancho, who also got her big break on America’s Got Talent, later returned to the top 10 with two full-length albums: Dream With Me (No. 2 in 2011) and Songs from the Silver Screen (No. 7 in 2012). VanderWaal’s title, Perfectly Imperfect, echoes a line from John Legend’s No. 1 hit, “All of Me”—”all your perfect imperfections.”

Kane Brown’s first studio album, Kane Brown, debuts at No. 10. It enters Top Country Albums at No. 1, displacing Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings. Brown’s EP, Chapter 1, hit No. 9 on the Billboard 200 in March.

Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. As noted above, Hamilton dips from No. 10 to No. 11. Metallica’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct drops from No. 3 to No. 12. The Trolls soundtrack drops from No. 6 to No. 15. Michael Bublé’s Christmas drops from No. 8 to No. 13. (The album tops the 4 million mark in U.S. sales this week.) Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings drops from No. 9 to No. 20.

John Legend’s Darkness and Light debuts at No. 14. This is Legend’s first studio album to fall short of the top 10.

The Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas rebounds from No. 46 to No. 33 in its 55th week on the chart. The album was first released in 1965, when the animated TV special first aired on CBS. The album didn’t crack the Billboard 200 (then called Top LP’s) that year. It has since climbed as high as No. 23. It has sold 3,620,000 copies since SoundScan began tracking U.S. music sales in 1991. The album was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007. Guaraldi died in 1976 (of a heart attack at age 43), but his music for this special will live forever.

Top Songs

Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles” (featuring Gucci Mane) tops the Hot 100 for the fifth week in its 13th week on the chart. Want to know the last Beatles song to log five weeks at No. 1? 1969’s “Get Back.” “Black Beatles” sold 70K copies this week, which puts it at No. 1 on Top Digital Songs for the fifth straight week (albeit with the smallest sales tally for a song at No. 1 on the digital sales chart since Beyoncé ‘s “Check on It,” featuring Slim Thug, led the chart in January 2006 with sales of just 61K). “Black Beatles” logged 38 million U.S. streams this week.

“Black Beatles” holds at No. 2 on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart for the third week. It was kept from the top spot by Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye,” which is in its fifth week on top.

The Weeknd’s “Starboy” (featuring Daft Punk) holds at No. 2 in its 12th week. This is its seventh non-consecutive week at No. 2.

The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” (featuring Halsey) holds at No. 3 in its 19th week. The song logged 12 weeks at No. 1.

Bruno Mars’s “24K Magic,” the first single from Mars’s album of the same name, rebounds from No. 5 to No. 4 its ninth week. This matches its highest ranking to date.

Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” (featuring Nicki Minaj) dips from its No. 4 peak to No. 5 in its 15th week.

“Juju on That Beat (TZ Anthem)” by Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion holds at No. 6 in its 11th week. It reached No. 5 two weeks ago.

Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” (featuring Kendrick Lamar) jumps from No. 8 to No. 7 its ninth week.

DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” (featuring Justin Bieber) dips from No. 7 to No. 8 in its 18th week. The song reached No. 4.

twenty one pilots’ “Heathens” holds at #9 in its 25th week. The song spent four weeks at No. 2.

“Bad Things” by Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello surges from No. 17 to No. 10 in its sixth week. This is Cabello’s second top 10 hit; her first under her own name. Cabello, 19, had a top 10 hit earlier this year as a member of Fifth Harmony. The quintet’s “Work from Home” (featuring Ty Dolla $ign) reached No. 4 in June. “Bad Things” heavily interpolates Fastball’s 1998 hit “Out of My Head,” which peaked at No. 20 on the Hot 100.

D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” (featuring Lil Yachty) drops out of the top 10 this week. The song reached No. 5.

Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” leaps from No. 30 to No. 20 in its eighth week. This is the third top 20 hit from Rihanna’s latest album, Anti. This makes Anti Rihanna’s seventh consecutive album to spawn three or more top 20 singles on the Hot 100, an impressive show of consistency. “Love on the Brain” may be the most deeply soulful single to date for this exceptionally versatile singer.

Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” tops the 1 million mark in digital sales. The song hit No. 1 on Hot Country Songs and No. 30 on the Hot 100. It won a CMA Award as Song of the Year. (It’s not the first country crossover hit to call for more kindness. Glen Campbell’s “Try a Little Kindness” was a top 30 pop/No. 2 country hit in late 1969.)

Coming attractions: J. Cole will land his fourth consecutive No. 1 album next week with 4 Your Eyez Only. Expect a monster debut, in the range of 550K (equivalent units) and 400K (traditional album sales). Tech N9ne’s The Storm and Post Malone’s Stoney also appear headed for the top 10.