Niall Horan’s album ‘Flicker’ debuts at number-one, as One Direction ties a record set by The Beatles

One Direction and The Beatles aren’t all that similar apart from being popular British bands, but at least by one metric they’re now equal. Former One Direction member Niall Horan has debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart with his first solo album, “Flicker,” which makes him the third One Direction member to top the chart as a soloist — following Zayn‘s “Mind of Mine” (2016) and Harry Styles‘s self-titled effort (2017). The Beatles are the only other band that spun off number-one solo albums by three of its members: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison — sorry, Ringo.

“Flicker” reached the pinnacle this week with 152,000 equivalent album units, which are calculated based on a combination of traditional album sales (of which Horan had 128,000), individual track sales, and online streams. Like other chart-topping artists in recent weeks including Shania Twain and Pink, Horan’s traditional album sales got a boost by bundling CDs into the cost of his concert ticket sales.

Horan first released a solo single more than a year ago: “This Town” in September 2016. He followed that with the more sensual “Slow Hands” this past May, so fans had to wait quite a while to get a complete collection from the Irish singer-songwriter. And there are still two One Direction alums left who could top the charts and exceed The Beatles record: Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson have released singles as solo artists but haven’t yet produced entire albums.

What do you think of Horan’s number-one debut? Will all five One Direction members eventually hit number-one? Comment below, and discuss this and more with your fellow music fans in our forums.

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