Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. had the biggest week of any album so far this year, whether you score by the old-fashioned method (album sales) or the new “multimetric” method, which is a blend of traditional album sales, digital track sales, and streaming data. DAMN. moved 603K “equivalent album units” in its first week. That’s the biggest one-week tally since Drake’s Views started with 1,039,000 in its first week in May 2016. In terms of traditional album sales, DAMN. sold 353K. That’s the biggest one-week tally since J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only bowed with sales of 363K in mid-December. (As you can plainly see, it’s a hip-hop world.)
It goes without saying that DAMN. enters the Billboard 200 at No. 1. Lamar’s previous studio album, To Pimp a Butterfly, spent its first two weeks at No. 1 in April 2015. His breakthrough album, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, debuted and peaked at No. 2 in November 2012. Both of those albums received Grammy nominations for Album of the Year. DAMN. is almost certain to follow suit when the noms for the 60th annual Grammy Awards are announced in December.
Tomorrow’s Grammy News Today: If DAMN. receives an Album of the Year nom, Lamar would become only the third rapper to be nominated in that category three times (as a lead artist). The first was Kanye West, who was nominated for his first three releases, The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation. The second was Eminem, who was nominated for The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem LP, and Recovery. (Lamar would become only the second rapper, following West, to achieve the feat with three consecutive studio albums.)
Lamar also reached No. 1 with untitled unmastered, a 2016 compilation, making DAMN. his third No. 1 album.
DAMN. is the second No. 1 album with the word damn in its title. Avril Lavigne’s The Best Damn Thing spent its first two weeks at No. 1 in May 2007. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes just missed the top spot; it spent seven weeks at No. 2 in 1980. Tim McGraw’s Damn Country Music hit No. 5 in 2015. The Broadway cast album to Damn Yankees reached No. 6 in 1955.
So what album was potent enough to keep good kid, m.A.A.d city from debuting at No. 1 back in 2013? Taylor Swift’s Red, which debuted at No. 1 that week. The two stars went on to collaborate on the No. 1 hit “Bad Blood.” good kid is No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums for the third nonconsecutive week. It’s the first hip-hop album to top the catalog chart since N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton headed the chart for seven weeks in the summer of 2015, on the heels of the success of the biopic of the same name.
“Stay” by Zedd & Alessia Cara jumps from No. 14 to No. 7 in its eighth week on the Hot 100, ending a one-week drought in which no women appeared in the top 10. That was the first shut-out for women since February 1984, when no women appeared in the top 10 for two weeks running. More on that later.
Kendrick Lamar lands his second No. 1 hit as “Humble.” jumps from No. 3 to No. 1 in its third week. Lamar first topped the chart in the summer of 2015 as the featured artist on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” (I doubt anyone would have guessed that Lamar would return to the No. 1 spot before Swift did. But that’s just what has happened. Swift peaked at No. 2 with her recent hit “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker).” “Humble.” also returns to No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” dips to No. 2, ending a 12-week run at No. 1. “Shape of You” returns to No. 1 on the Official U.K. Singles chart after being displaced last week by Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times.” This is its 14th week on top in the U.K. Just one other single by an English lead artist has spent 14 weeks at No. 1 in the U.K.—and that required two separate runs at No. 1. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” spent nine weeks on top in 1975-1976 and five more weeks on top in 1991-92 (after it was featured in Wayne’s World.)
Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” dips from No. 2 to No. 3 its 14th week. It’s Mars’s first single to peak at No. 2.
Lamar has a second song in the top five, “DNA.” debuts at No. 4. Lamar is the first artist to have two songs in the top five simultaneously since Justin Bieber scored last October with a pair of featured credits. The last lead artist to have two songs in the top five simultaneously was the Chainsmokers, which scored last September with “Closer” and “Don’t Let Me Down.”
Future’s “Mask Off” jumps from No. 7 to No. 5 in its ninth week. It’s the second hip-hop hit in recent months to feature an incongruous flute solo. It follows Kodak Black’s “Tunnel Vision.”
KYLE’s “iSpy” (featuring Lil Yachty) holds at No. 6 in its 17th week. The song peaked at No. 4. It’s the second No. 4 hit to give Oprah a name-check. The TV icon was also mentioned in Travie McCoy’s 2010 hit “Billionaire” (featuring Bruno Mars).
As mentioned above, “Stay” by Zedd & Alessia Cara jumps from No. 14 to No. 7 in its eighth week. It’s the third top 10 hit for both artists. Zedd previously cracked the top 10 with “Clarity” (featuring Foxes) and as a featured artist on Ariana Grande’s “Break Free.” Cara previously cracked the top 10 with “Here” and “Scars to Your Beautiful.” “Stay” is the fourth song with that exact title to crack the top 10. Maurice Williams, Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko and Shakespear’s Sister all cracked the top 10 with different songs titled “Stay.” The new song sold 91K digital copies this week, which allows it to move to the top of the Digital Songs chart. It displaces Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times.” It’s the first No. 1 digital hit for both Zedd and Cara.
“Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers and Coldplay drops from No. 5 to No. 8 in its ninth week. The song has risen as high as No. 3. This is the 51st consecutive week that The Chainsmokers have had one or more songs in the top 10. This ties Drake’s continuous streak in 2015-16. Only Katy Perry has had more continuous weeks in the top 10—69 in 2010-11.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Justin Bieber) vaults from No. 48 to No. 9 in its 14th week. It’s the first top 10 hit for both Fonsi and Daddy Yankee; the 12th for Bieber, who performed the song live for the first time last week at a Fonsi concert in Puerto Rico. The Bieber remix has fueled the song’s rise. The original, Bieber-less version climbed as high as No. 44. This is the first mostly Spanish song to crack the top 10 since Los Del Rio’s 1996 smash “Macarena.”
Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” drops from No. 8 to No. 10 in its fourth week.
Three songs drop out of the top 10 this week. They are: Harry Styles’s “Sign of the Times,” Sam Hunt’s “Body like a Back Road” and the Chainsmokers’ “Paris.”
John Mayer lands his ninth top 10 album or EP as The Search for Everything enters the Billboard 200 at No. 2. This is Mayer’s sixth consecutive studio album to reach No. 1 or No. 2.
Drake’s More Life dips from No. 2 to No. 3 in its fifth week. It spent its first three weeks on top.
Ed Sheeran’s ÷ dips from No. 3 to No. 4 in its seventh week. It spent its first two weeks at No. 1. The album logs its seventh week at No. 1 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart. It’s more than halfway to equaling Sheeran’s previous album, x, which logged 12 weeks at No. 1 in 2014-15.
The Chainsmokers’ Memories…Do Not Open drops from No. 1 to No. 5 in its second week.
The Moana soundtrack inches up from No. 7 to No. 6 in its 22nd week. The album peaked at No. 2. The album is No. 1 for the eighth week on Top Soundtracks. That’s the longest run at No. 1 on that chart sinceSuicide Squad: The Album had 13 weeks on top last year. It’s the longest run for a soundtrack to a Walt Disney film since Frozen amassed 44 weeks on top in 2013-14. Moana‘s staying power is remarkable. La La Land got more buzz and Oscar love, Beauty and the Beast was a bigger box-office hit, and Fifty Shades Darker spawned a No. 2 smash single, but Moana is ahead of them all on the soundtracks chart.
Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic dips from No. 6 to No. 7 in its 22nd week. The album has never ranked lower than No. 7. It logged four weeks at No. 2.
Future’s Future inches up from No. 9 to No. 8 in its ninth week. The album debuted at No. 1.
The Beauty and the Beast soundtrack rebounds from No. 11 to No. 9 in its sixth week. The album peaked at No. 3.
The Fate of the Furious: The Album soundtrack debuts at No. 10. The movie was No. 1 at the box office in each of the past two weekends. This is the fourth album from the Fast and the Furious franchise to reach the top 10. The soundtrack to the initial The Fast and the Furious peaked at No. 7 in 2001. 2 Fast 2 Furious hit No. 5 in 2003. Furious 7 hit No. 1 in 2015.
Two albums drop out of the top 10 this week. They are Pentatonix’s PTX, Vol. IV—Classics and Joey Bada$$’ ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$.
Coming Attractions: Look for Incubus to land its sixth top 10 album next week with 8. Also due: Brad Paisley’s Love and War, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 2, and Barry Manilow’s This Is My Town.