After months of delay, Drake‘s sixth studio album “Certified Lover Boy” was released on September 3, and unsurprisingly it has debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 with the most successful week for any album since Taylor Swift‘s “Folklore” last summer. That pushes last week’s top album, Kanye West‘s “Donda,” down to second place.
“Certified Lover Boy” launched with a remarkable 613,000 equivalent album units, which are calculated by combining album sales, individual track sales, and online streams through platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Hip-hop artists in general — and Drake in particular — tend to accumulate their units primarily through streaming, and “Lover Boy” is no exception. In fact, the collection’s 562,000 streaming units (based on more than 743 million streams) would have been more than enough on their own to make this the biggest album of the year — having 21 tracks on his album to play through surely didn’t hurt. What’s more, Drake and Swift are the only artists who have posted numbers this high or higher over the last five years.
West’s “Donda” is a distant second with 141,000 album units after debuting last week with more than 300,000. Meanwhile, veteran rockers Iron Maiden had the highest debut of their careers with “Senjutsu” at number-three with 64,000 units, of which 61,000 are from album sales. So Iron Maiden actually sold more albums than Drake did despite Drake wiping the floor with everyone on online platforms. Rounding out the top five are a couple of familiar faces: Olivia Rodrigo‘s “Sour” at number-four (61,000 units) and Doja Cat‘s “Planet Her” in fifth place (49,000 units).
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