A look at how the week's top artists shook out on the Billboard charts.
In case you missed it, the RIAA updated their formula for calculating Gold and Platinum Album certifications yesterday. While it helped a few artist reach Platinum, today we see if it has shaken up the charts in any significant way. We’re now counting the total combined streams, single and album sales as “total album equivalent units” (TAEU, for short), as driven by changes to Billboard’s new rating system.
Two notable things happened this week. The first is artists showing an overall growth after a few weeks falling, mostly thanks to the new TAEU metric. Second is Rihanna’s lackluster debut thanks to a creative attempt with Samsung to reach Platinum quickly that backfired after Billboard refused to recognize those “sales.”
1) The Weekend – Beauty Behind The Madness: After dropping three spots last week, the Toronto crooner has risen back one spot to #8 overall on the Billboard charts, most likely with the help of the new rating system. While he sold just over 10,000 albums last week, The Weeknd’s massive streaming numbers equated to 31,767 total album equivalent units (TAEU). Billboard also counted retroactive streams from the album’s release, which jumps the record from just under one million album sales to over two million! It also garnered him a 2x Platinum award.
2) Bryson Tiller – TRAPSOUL: After falling to #10 last week, Bryson Tiller maintains his spot despite a debut at #9 for the 2016 Grammy Nominees compliation album by holding strong with 30,516 TAEU. His total physical album sales are 178,942, and they seem to be holding steady at just under 10,000 per week.
3) Various Artists – 2016 Grammy Nominees: Debuting at #9 on the Billboard charts, the compilation album of Grammy Nominees features hip hop & RnB artists Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, The Weeknd, among others. Their debut is impressive as their TAEU total is based solely on streams (30,698).
4) G-Eazy – When It’s Dark Out: The Berkeley rapper has risen back to #12 after being briefly unseated by Lecrae (he’s fallen all the way down to #92, most likely due to his lack of streaming numbers). His TAEU total is 27,147, down very slightly from last week and his new total album sales numbers are 459,122, very close to a Gold album certification..
5) Fetty Wap – Fetty Wap: The Remy Boyz leader moves up one spot from last week into #13, based on a very minimal drop off from last week’s combined album sales + streams (21,871). His combined total is now 278,000.
6) Tank – Sex Love & Pain II: The second debut of the week, Tank’s Sex Love & Pain sequel debuted at #15 based on a strong balance of physical sales (17,758) and streams (2,168,445). We’ll see if he can keep it going next week.
7) Chris Brown – Royalty: Chris Brown is another artist to jump up a few notches after falling last week, rising back up to #20 from #22. No doubt the benefit of the combined TAEU metric, which bumped his total sales to 360,000 (from 240,000).
8) J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive: J. Cole jumps up two spots to #25 this week, surpassing Drake & Future in the process. He moved 17,043 TAEU this week, but his strength in physical sales kept him from making a bigger leap this week. Total units sold: 1,119,000.
9) Drake & Future – What A Time To Be Alive: Drake & Future fall again this week to #26 from #23. This is somewhat unexpected since their strength has always been streaming, but their weekly total has fallen to 16,918, down almost 2,000 units per week. They reached gold last week with over 500,000 units moved.
10) Rihanna – ANTI: The third debut this week is actually a bit of a disappointment for Rihanna, who would have been at #1 easily if her sales through Samsung had counted. As it stands, her physical album sales are a paltry 460 because the album won’t be in record stores until this coming Friday, but her streaming totals still gave her 15,896 TAEU for the week. She should pick up steam heading into next week’s column.
Bieber still has command of the singles chart, but his top two songs have flip flopped on the charts. Flo Rida stormed into the top 10 this week, jumping up 7 spots to #5 with his single “My House.”
The saving grace for RiRi is that her single “Work” feat. Drake was able to crack the top 10 right off the bat at #9. Maybe people are finally tiring of “Hotline Bling,” because it fell out of the top 10 for the first time this week, settling at #14. G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself & I” feat. Bebe Rexha leapfrogged it for a new high mark at #12