Billboard 200: SZA’s ‘SOS’ debuts at #1 and makes history for R&B albums

SZA debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart for the tracking week that ended Thursday, December 15. “SOS” is her first studio album since her debut “Ctrl” five years ago, and over those subsequent years she has built such a strong fan base that her new album made history for R&B. Read more about this week’s chart here at

“SOS” achieved a whopping 318,000 equivalent album units based on its combined album sales, individual track sales, and online streams. The vast majority of those units came from streaming (309,500), making this SZA’s biggest week ever, the biggest streaming week for an R&B album in history, and the third biggest streaming week of 2022 overall, behind Taylor Swift‘s “Midnights” and Drake and 21 Savage‘s “Her Loss.” On top of that, SZA’s previous album “Ctrl” is back in the top 30 this week after 288 weeks on the chart.

Swift’s “Midnights” is number-two for the second week in a row, achieving another 139,000 album units (down only three-percent). Last week’s chart topper, Metro Boomin‘s “Heroes and Villains,” drops to number-three with 102,000 units. “Her Loss” slips down one spot to number-four with 67,000 units. And though Michael Buble‘s “Christmas” gained 14% to 62,000 units, it remains in fifth position.

SZA’s “SOS” wasn’t in our predictions center for this week’s predictions contest, but a few users correctly predicted that “None of these” would top the chart. The number-one album moving more than 300,000 album units was more of a surprise, with only seven users anticipating that outcome. More than a dozen users correctly predicted that “Midnights” would be in second place. A dozen foresaw “Heroes and Villains” at number-three. Only three got “Her Loss” at number-four right. And fewer than a dozen had “Christmas” in fifth position. How did you do in this tough-to-predict week?

Be sure to make your predictions so that artists can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next tracking week begins every Friday. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our music forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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