Grammys 2018: What are the best-selling albums (so far) eligible for Album of the Year?

It’s been only three months since the 59th Grammy Awards were handed out, but because the eligibility period runs from the beginning of October to the end of the following September there have already been seven months worth of releases that qualify for the next Grammy ceremony. Last year I listed the bestselling titles eligible for Album of the Year.  The top four best-selling titles — Adele‘s “25,” Drake‘s “Views,” Beyonce‘s “Lemonade,” and even surprise nominee Justin Bieber‘s “Purpose” — all received nominations, so keeping track of album sales is crucially important in predicting the Grammys.

Just consider what happens when you’re not one of the very biggest sellers: David Bowie‘s “Blackstar” was one of the most acclaimed albums of 2016, and it was a sentimental favorite because of Bowie’s subsequent death. It went home with five Grammys (tied with Adele’s “25” for the most of the evening), but it wasn’t even nominated for Album of the Year (or anything in the general field, for that matter), which showed that while there are multiple factors that determine the nominees, album sales are by far the strongest indicator of which titles will end up on the final ballot. The late rocker had sold a respectable 438,000 copies (placing it 13th overall), but it was far from the nearly 1.8 million copies Bieber had accumulated, so Bieber ended up with the surprise nom.

With that in mind, here are currently the top 30 bestselling albums released since October 1, 2016.  In addition to total sales (physical and digital), I have included the peak positions for each album’s respective singles, the album’s MetaCritic score to show its reception among critics, and the artist’s Grammy tally of wins and nominations to date.

2018 Grammy contenders halfway through eligibility year

1. Metallica, “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct” – 925,000
Metacritic: 74
Hit singles: “Hardwired” (#119)
Grammy history: 8 wins, 18 nominations

2. Bruno Mars, “24K Magic” – 844,000
Metacritic: 70
Hit singles: “24K Magic” (#4), “That’s What I Like” (#1)
Grammy history: 5 wins, 16 nominations

3. Ed Sheeran, “÷” – 608,000
Metacritic: 62
Hit singles: “Castle on the Hill” (#6), “Shape of You” (#1), “Galway Girl” (#53)
Grammy history: 3 wins, 9 nominations

4. Soundtrack, “Moana” – 560,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “How Far I’ll Go” (#41), “You’re Welcome” (#65)
Grammy history: N/A

5. J. Cole, “4 Your Eyez Only” – 555,000
Metacritic: 75
Hit singles: “Deja Vu” (#7), “High for Hours” (#122), “Neighbors” (#13)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 4 nominations

6. The Weeknd, “Starboy” – 549,000
Metacritic: 67
Hit singles: “Starboy” (#1), “I Feel It Coming” (#4), “Party Monster” (#16)
Grammy history: 2 wins, 7 nominations

7. Lady Gaga, “Joanne” – 523,000
Metacritic: 67
Hit singles: “Perfect Illusion” (#15), “Million Reasons” (#4)
Grammy history: 6 wins, 17 nominations

8. Kendrick Lamar, “Damn.” – 441,000
Metacritic: 95
Hit singles: “Humble” (#1)
Grammy history: 6 wins, 18 nominations

9. Miranda Lambert, “The Weight of These Wings” – 339,000
Metacritic: 81
Hit singles: “Vice” (#47), “We Should Be Friends” (#106), “Tin Man” (#75)
Grammy history: 2 wins, 15 nominations

10. Rolling Stones, “Blue and Lonesome” – 330,000
Metacritic: 82
Hit singles: N/A
Grammy history: 2 wins, 11 nominations

11. Drake, “More Life” – 311,000
Metacritic: 79
Hit singles: “Fake Love” (#8), “Passionfruit” (#8), “Free Smoke” (#18)
Grammy history: 3 wins, 27 nominations

12. Various, “The Hamilton Mixtape” – 304,000
Metacritic: 77
Hit singles: “It’s Quiet Uptown” (#124)
Grammy history: N/A

13. A Tribe Called Quest, “We Got It from Here…Thank You 4 Your Service” – 297,000
Metacritic: 91
Hit singles: “We the People…” (#77)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 3 nominations

14. Soundtrack, “La La Land” – 290,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “City of Stars” (#113)
Grammy history: N/A

15. Soundtrack, “Beauty and the Beast” – 265,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “Beauty and the Beast” (#87), “Evermore” (#118)
Grammy history: N/A

16. Michael Bublé, “Nobody But Me” – 230,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: N/A
Grammy history: 4 wins, 12 nominations

17. Green Day, “Revolution Radio” – 215,000
Metacritic: 72
Hit singles: “Bang Bang” (#104)
Grammy history: 5 wins, 18 nominations

18. The Chainsmokers, “Memories…Do Not Open” – 204,000
Metacritic: 43
Hit singles: “Paris” (#6), “Something Just Like This” (#3)
Grammy history: 1 win, 3 nominations

19. Kenny Chesney, “Cosmic Hallelujah” – 203,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “Noise” (#72), “Setting the World on Fire” (#29), “Bar at the End of the World” (#92)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 5 nominations

20. Soundtrack, “Sing” – 191,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: N/A
Grammy history: N/A

21. Avenged Sevenfold, “The Stage” – 168,000
Metacritic: 74
Hit singles: “The Stage” (#107)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 0 nominations

21. Childish Gambino, “Awaken, My Love!” – 168,000
Metacritic: 77
Hit singles: “Me and Your Mama” (#68), “Redbone” (#45)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 2 nominations

23. Reba McEntire, “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” – 163,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “Back to God” (#111)
Grammy history: 2 wins, 14 nominations

24. Brantley Gilbert, “The Devil Don’t Sleep” – 160,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “The Weekend” (#64)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 0 nominations

25. Kings of Leon, “Walls” – 149,000
Metacritic: 62
Hit singles: “Waste a Moment” (#102)
Grammy history: 4 wins, 11 nominations

26. Kane Brown, “Kane Brown” – 141,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” (#88), “Thunder in the Rain” (#122)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 0 nominations

27. Grace VanderWaal, “Perfectly Imperfect” (EP) – 139,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “I Don’t Know My Name” (#124)
Grammy history: 0 wins, 0 nominations

28. Soundtrack, “Fifty Shades Darker” – 138,000
Metacritic: N/A
Hit singles: “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (#2), “Not Afraid Anymore” (#77)
Grammy history: N/A

29. John Mayer, “The Search for Everything” – 134,000
Metacritic: 61
Hit singles: “Love on the Weekend” (#53)
Grammy history: 7 wins, 16 nominations

30. Alicia Keys, “Here” – 131,000
Metacritic: 76
Hit singles: “In Common” (#104)
Grammy history: 15 wins, 27 nominations

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