Beyoncé’s Renaissance blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Aug. 13) with 2022’s biggest week by a woman — and the second-largest week of the year overall — as the set launches atop the chart with 332,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Aug. 4, according to Luminate.
Notably, Renaissance — Beyoncé’s seventh solo No. 1 album — is the first album released by a woman in 2022 to top the Billboard 200. The last woman at No. 1 was Adele with 30, which ruled for its first six weeks on the list (charts dated Dec. 4, 2021 to Jan. 8, 2022). Notably, both 30 and Renaissance were released via Columbia Records (with Renaissance issued through Parkwood/Columbia).
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Renaissance is Beyoncé’s seventh solo studio album, and first since the chart-topping Lemonade in 2016. Since then, she teamed with husband Jay-Z on The Carters’ Everything Is Love (2018), released Homecoming: The Live Album and led The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack (both in 2019; all three reached the top five of the Billboard 200). All seven of her solo studio albums have also opened atop the tally (outside of her output as part of Destiny’s Child), starting with Dangerously in Love in 2003.
Unlike Beyoncé’s last two solo albums (Lemonade and her self-titled set in 2013), Renaissance wasn’t a surprise release. The new set was announced in mid-June, preceded by its first single, “Break My Soul,” on June 20, and was available to purchase on physical formats (both CD and vinyl LP) by street date (July 29). Comparably, her last two solo studio sets before Renaissance were both initially available exclusively through streamers and digital retailers, and their physical release came later.
Also, unlike her last two studio efforts, Renaissance was not ushered in alongside a longform visual component — or, in fact, any official music videos. The Lemonade project debuted initially on HBO through its same-titled film, while her self-titled effort was initially sold exclusively through iTunes accompanied by 18 music videos. As of Aug. 7, no official videos for Renaissance have been released — only lyric videos and visualizers.
Also in the new top 10 on the Billboard 200: Ateez, Enhypen and Dance Gavin Dance all score their first top 10 albums as their latest releases debut in the region, while Suicideboys collect their third top 10 effort with the No. 7 arrival of Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multimetric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album.
Of Renaissance’s 332,000 equivalent album units earned, album sales comprise 190,000; SEA units comprise 138,000 (equaling 179.06 million on-demand official streams of the set’s tracks) and TEA units comprise 4,000.
In 2022, the only album with a larger week, by equivalent album units earned, has been the debut frame of Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, which launched with 521,000 on the June 4-dated chart. Thus, Columbia has the two biggest weeks of 2022, as Harry’s House was issued through Erskine/Columbia. (As noted earlier, Renaissance has the biggest week of 2022 among albums by women. It surpasses the debut frame of Lizzo’s Special, which earned 69,000 units in the week ending July 21, reflected on the July 30-dated chart.)
Renaissance logs the largest streaming week for an album by a woman in 2022 by on-demand official streams earned, with 179.06 million. It’s also the seventh-biggest streaming debut among all albums in 2022, and Beyoncé’s largest streaming week ever. (Of note, the largest streaming week for an album by a woman in 2022 was when Doja Cat’s Planet Her collected 46.68 million streams for its songs in the tracking week ending Feb. 3, as reflected on the Feb. 12-dated chart. The previous biggest debut streaming week in 2022 for a woman was registered by Lizzo’s Special, with 37.07 million streams for its songs in the tracking week ending July 21, reflected on the July 30 chart.)
In terms of traditional album sales, with 190,000 sold, Renaissance posts the third-largest sales week for an album in 2022, and the biggest by a woman. The only bigger sales weeks so far this year were captured by the opening stanzas of Harry’s House (330,000) and BTS’ Proof (266,000).
Renaissance sold 121,000 copies on CD, 43,000 via digital downloads and 26,000 on vinyl.
Renaissance’s initial album sales figure is largely driven by direct-to-consumer sales of the album through Internet retailers, with 72 percent of its first-week sales coming through web-based sellers (136,000 of 190,000). Those sellers included Beyoncé’s official web store (where she sold four limited-edition deluxe boxed set editions of the album containing a T-shirt and a CD — all of which are sold out).
Beyoncé’s web store was also the exclusive seller in the tracking week of the album’s vinyl LP, which had a limited pressing and an alternative cover and sold 26,000 copies. That marks the largest sales week for an R&B/hip-hop album on vinyl by a woman in the modern era since Luminate began tracking sales in 1991. The vinyl LP sold out on Beyoncé’s web store before the album’s release July 29. On Sept. 16, the album will garner a wide release on vinyl through all retailers, with expanded packaging and its standard album cover.
While Renaissance’s Internet-based sales were hefty, the album would have still been No. 1 on the Billboard 200 without any sales from Internet sellers. Further, the set would have been No. 1 without selling a single copy, as it still would have perched atop the list from only streaming activity (with streaming equaling 138,000 SEA units).
Finally, as noted earlier, Renaissance is the first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 by a solo woman since Adele’s 30 closed its six-week run atop the list dated Jan. 8. That 30-week gap between No. 1’s is the longest the chart has been absent a No. 1 album billed to a solo woman since 2017, when there was a 31-week dry spell between Lady Gaga’s Joanne (one week at No. 1 on Nov. 12, 2016) and Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (June 24, 2017).
Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti falls to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 after seven nonconsecutive weeks atop the list (104,000 equivalent album units earned; up 7 percent). On the Aug. 20-dated chart, the album will benefit from its wide CD release Aug. 5.
Ateez notch their first top 10 as The World EP.1: Movement arrives at No. 3 with 50,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 47,000; SEA units comprise 3,000 (equaling 4.02 million on-demand official streams of the set’s seven tracks); and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. Previously, the South Korean group had gone as high as No. 42 in 2021 with Zero: Fever Part.3.
Like many K-pop releases, the CD configuration of The World EP.1 was issued in collectible deluxe packages (eight total, including a version exclusive to indie retailers), each with a standard set of items and randomized elements (such as photo cards); 97 percent of the album’s first-week sales were on CD. The other 3 percent were digital album sales (a little over 1,000). The set was not released in any other format, such as vinyl or cassette.
Morgan Wallen’s former No. 1 Dangerous: The Double Album dips 2-4 with 49,000 equivalent album units (up 1 percent), and Styles’ chart-topping Harry’s House falls 3-5 with 46,000 units (down 4 percent).
Enhypen land their first top 10 album on the Billboard 200 as Manifesto: Day 1 debuts at No. 6 with 39,000 equivalent album units earned, following the set’s physical release July 29. The six-song effort was released July 4 via streaming services and digital retailers. Of its 39,000 units earned, album sales comprise 38,000, while SEA units comprise 1,000 (equaling 1.29 million on-demand official streams of the set’s tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum.
Manifesto is the fourth top 20-charting album for the South Korean group, which previously topped out at No. 11 with Dimension: Dilemma in 2021.
The CD configuration of Manifesto was issued in collectible deluxe packages (11 total, including a version exclusively sold through Target), each with a standard set of items and randomized elements (like photo cards). Effectively all of its sales for the week were on CD (a negligible number were sold via digital download); the set was not issued on any other physical format.
Suicideboys score their third top 10 album on the Billboard 200 as Sing Me a Lullaby, My Sweet Temptation bows at No. 7 with 37,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, SEA units comprise 33,000 (equaling 45.31 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks), album sales comprise 4,000 and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. The rap duo has previously hit the top 10 with Long Term Effects of Suffering (No. 7 in 2021) and I Want to Die in New Orleans (No. 9, 2018).
Dance Gavin Dance claim their first top 10 album on the Billboard 200 as Jackpot Juicer starts at No. 8 with 33,500 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 25,500 (the band’s best sales week ever); SEA units comprise 8,000 (equaling 10.37 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. The album’s first-week sales got a boost from its availability across multiple color vinyl variants, and in total, the vinyl edition of the album sold 14,000 copies (the second-biggest-selling vinyl set of the week behind Renaissance).
Jackpot Juicer is Dance Gavin Dance’s 11th charting effort on the Billboard 200 and fifth to reach the top 40.
Rounding out the new top 10 of the Billboard 200 are a pair of former No. 1’s: Future’s I Never Liked You (falling 5-9 with 31,000 equivalent album units, down 7 percent) and Drake’s Honestly, Nevermind (6-10; 29,000, down 9 percent).
Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes an exhaustive and thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data, removing any suspicious or unverifiable activity using established criteria before final chart calculations are made and published. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious and unverifiable is disqualified prior to the final calculation.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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