Lady Gaga Scores Sixth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With ‘Chromatica’

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Lady Gaga
Norbert Schoerner

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga notches her sixth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with the chart-topping debut of Chromatica. The set starts with 274,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending June 4, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data — the biggest week for any album by a woman in 2020.

Chromatica was released on May 29 via Interscope Records. The set was led by the singles “Stupid Love” and “Rain on Me” with Ariana Grande. The former debuted and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March, while the latter opened at No. 1 on the June 6 chart.

Chromatica was originally slated for an April 10 release, but was delayed due to COVID-19 concerns.Lady Gaga previously hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with the A Star Is Born soundtrack (with Bradley Cooper, in 2018 and 2019), Joanne (2016), Cheek to Cheek (with Tony Bennett, 2014), Artpop (2013) and Born This Way (2011).

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new June 13-dated chart (where Chromatica starts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on June 9.

Of Chromatica’s starting sum of 274,000 equivalent album units, album sales comprise 205,000, SEA units total 65,000 (equating to 87.16 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks in the week ending June 4) and TEA units equal a little more than 4,000.

Here’s a look at some notable achievements earned by the debut of Chromatica at No. 1:

Fifth Biggest Week of 2020, Largest for an Album By a Woman: Chromatica’s start of 274,000 equivalent album units earned marks the fifth-largest week for any album in 2020 and the biggest for an album by a woman. The only larger weeks posted in 2020 were from the debut frames of The Weeknd’s After Hours (444,000), BTSMap of the Soul: 7 (422,000), Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake (288,000) and Eminem’s Music to Be Murdered By (279,000).

The last larger week for an album by a woman was racked up by Taylor Swift’s Lover, which blasted in at No. 1 on the chart dated Sept. 7, 2019, with 867,000 units.

Album sales comprise 75 percent of Chromatica’s overall debut frame (205,000 of 274,000). The set’s sales were bolstered by dozens of merchandise/album bundles sold via her official webstore, and a concert ticket/album sale offer with her three upcoming U.S. stadium shows scheduled for August. In addition, the album sold well via traditional retail, including the iTunes Store, Amazon and Target. The latter carried an exclusive deluxe CD edition of the album with bonus tracks.

Strong Streams: Chromatica’s bow with 65,000 SEA units equates to 87.16 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks in the week ending June 4. That’s the biggest streaming week for any non-R&B/hip-hop or Latin album in 2020.

The largest streaming week of 2020 for any album is owned by Lil Uzi Vert’s hip-hop set Eternal Atake, which bowed at No. 1 on March 21 with 400.4 million clicks.

For comparison among non-R&B/hip-hop or Latin albums, here are the next-biggest streaming weeks of 2020 after Chromatica’s start with 87.16 million: Selena Gomez’s Rare (debut, 79.3 million; Jan. 25), Halsey’s Manic (debut, 75.6 million; Feb. 1) and BTS’ Map of the Soul: 7 (debut, 74.8 million; March 7).

The last album outside of the R&B/hip-hop or Latin genres to manage a bigger streaming week than Chromatica was Harry StylesFine Line, which started at No. 1 with 108.7 million clicks (Dec. 28, 2019-dated chart).

The last non-R&B/hip-hop or Latin album by a woman to collect a bigger streaming week than Chromatica was Taylor Swift’s Lover, with 117.4 million in its second week on the list (Sept. 14, 2019).

Six No. 1 Albums in Only Nine Years: Lady Gaga has tallied six No. 1s on the Billboard 200 chart in just nine years and two days — the fastest a woman has claimed six No. 1 albums. Lady Gaga logged her first No. 1 with Born This Way, when it debuted atop the list dated Jun 11, 2011.

Previously, Taylor Swift achieved six No. 1s the fastest, among women, when Loveropened at No. 1 on Sept. 7, 2019 — just 10 years and nine months after her first No. 1, Fearless, topped the list (Nov. 29, 2008).

Among men or groups, there are acts that have scores their first six No. 1s in quicker time than Gaga — The Beatles, Justin Bieber, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Drake, Future, Jay-Z, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley and Kanye West.

One of Just Eight Women With at Least Six No. 1 Albums: Lady Gaga joins an elite club of just eight women who have landed six No. 1 albums. She’s now tied with Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Taylor Swift, all with six each. Ahead of them: Barbra Streisand, with the most of any woman, 11; Madonna, with nine; and Janet Jackson, with seven.

Among all artists, The Beatles continue to hold the record for the most No. 1s, with 19 leaders.

Only Two Women Have Had a No. 1 Album in 2020: So far this year, just two women have led the Billboard 200 — Lady Gaga with Chromatica and Selena Gomez with Rare. The latter opened atop the list on Jan. 25.

In total, of the 18 No. 1 albums in 2020 — which include two carryover No. 1s from 2019 — 14 are by solo men, two are by male groups (BTS and Jackboys) and two are by women.

At this point a year ago, there were 17 No. 1s — with one carryover from 2018. Of those 17, four were either by a solo woman, or co-credited to a woman and a man (Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born soundtrack). The other 13 leaders at this point a year ago consisted of three No. 1s by male groups (Backstreet Boys, BTS and Vampire Weekend) and 10 by solo men.

At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Jimmy Buffett lands his highest-charting album in over 15 years, as Life on the Flip Side starts with 75,000 equivalent album units earned (with 74,000 of that sum in album sales). The last time the veteran singer-songwriter (and Margaritaville brand boss) was higher on the list was in 2004, when License to Chill became his first No. 1 when it opened atop the chart dated July 31, 2004.

Life on the Flip Side is Buffett’s 40th charting album on the Billboard 200. He first visited the list in 1974 with Living and Dying in 3/4 Time, which arrived on the March 2 chart, on its way to a No. 176 peak on March 30. In total, Life On the Flip Side is Buffett’s 22nd top 40 album, and 12th top 10.

Life on the Flip Side is Buffett’s first non-holiday studio album since Songs From St. Somewhere, which hit No. 4 in 2013.

The new album’s sales were helped by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with a slate of upcoming Buffett shows. The bundle offer was originally attached to a string of dates that were meant to run from May 16 through Oct. 15, 2020. Some of those shows were ultimately canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, while the remaining shows were postponed and rescheduled to July 10 through Sept. 2, 2021. Only the postponed and rescheduled shows are part of the ticket bundle offer which contributes to the chart total.

With Gaga and Buffett at Nos. 1 and 2, it’s the first time since the Jan. 4-date chart that the top two titles are both non-R&B/hip-hop titles. On the Jan. 4-dated chart, Harry Styles’ Fine Line was No. 1, while Michael Bublé’s Christmas was No. 2.

A trio of former No. 1s come in at Nos. 3-5 on the new Billboard 200, as Lil Baby’s My Turn falls from No. 2 to No. 3 (62,000 equivalent album units; down 4 percent), Gunna’s Wunna drops from No. 1 to No. 4 in its second week (49,000; down 56 percent) and Future’s High Off Life dips from No. 3 to No. 5 (44,000; down 27 percent).

Drake’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes is steady at No. 6 (41,000; down 14 percent) and Polo G’s The Goat falls 5-7 (40,000; down 22 percent).

Anuel AA claims his first top 10 album on the all-genre Billboard 200, as Emmanueldebuts at No. 8 with 39,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 36,000 are in SEA units, equating to 55.8 million on-demand streams for the album’s songs.

The set is the Latin album to reach the Billboard 200’s top 10 in 2020, following a pair of Bad Bunny efforts (YHLQMDLG, No. 2 and Las Que No Iban a Salir, No. 7).

Emmanuel is Anuel AA’s second studio album. His first, Real Hasta La Muerte, peaked at No. 44 in 2018. It also spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart, and finished as one of the top 10 biggest Latin albums of 2018 and 2019 on Billboard’s year-end charts.

DaBaby’s former No. 1 Blame It on Baby falls from No. 7 to No. 9 on the new Billboard 200 with just under 39,000 equivalent album units (down 8 percent).

Closing out the new top 10 on the Billboard 200 is Run the JewelsRTJ4, bowing at No. 10 with 38,000 equivalent album units earned (with 30,000 of that in album sales). It’s the first top 10 for the rap duo, which previously notched two charting sets, Run the Jewels 3 (No. 13 in 2017) and Run the Jewels 2 (No. 50 in 2014).

RTJ4 was released early via digital retailers and streamers on Wednesday, June 3 — instead of on June 5 (a Friday, traditionally the day in which albums are released each week). The album’s sales also benefit from an array of merchandise/album bundles sold via the act’s official webstore.

In addition, the album was available as a free download via the act’s website, alongside an appeal for donations to the Mass Defense Program. None of those free downloads were reported to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Justin Bieber Says ‘I Have Benefited Off Black Culture,’ Vows to Fight Racial Injustice

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justin-bieber-Justin-Bieber-Seasons-Arrivals-2020-billboard-1548-1582819257
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Justin Bieber attend the Premiere of YouTube Original’s «Justin Bieber: Seasons» at Regency Bruin Theatre on Jan. 27, 2020 in Los Angeles.

Justin Bieber acknowledged that his music career has been shaped by black culture in a new post on Instagram. In the note, the pop star also pledged to use his privilege as a white celebrity to engage in work against racism.

«I am inspired by black culture. I have benefited off of black culture,» Bieber wrote on Saturday (June 6). «My style, how I sing, dance, perform, and my fashion have all been influenced and inspired by black culture.»

«I am committed to using my platform from this day forward to learn, to speak up about racial injustice and systemic oppression, and to identify ways to be a part of much needed change,» he said.

This week, Bieber’s Instagram feed — like those of many other artists — has focused on speaking out against racism.

«No lives matter until black lives matter,» he said on May 28.

«Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice,» he wrote the next day.

On May 31, he shared a graphic in reaction to the police officers involved in George Floyd’s death: «They’d rather let the nation burn than arrest 3 of their own…let that sink in.» On June 1, he posted one that said, «»Dear non black friends…. I’m paying attention to your silence» and another pointing out, «»It is not enough to be quietly non-racist, now is the time to be vocally anti-racist.»

He also took part in Black Out Tuesday, encouraged followers to vote and take action, and paid tribute to Breonna Taylor over the past few days.

Read Bieber’s latest post below.

Billie Eilish Opens Up About Body Image: ‘Sometimes I Dress Like a Boy, Sometimes I Dress Like a Swaggy Girl’

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Billie Eilish
Danielle Levitt

Billie Eilish on the July/August cover of British GQ

Billie Eilish is going down a rabbit hole like the rest of us during quarantine. In a wide-ranging interview with British GQ Eilish says being locked down due to COVID-19 is «pretty bad, but with good reason.»

She lamented that we «should be living in a ghost town,» when the magazine caught up with her in mid-March as she was stuck at home and angry that when she went to visit her brother and musical collaborator, Finneas, there were «still people all over the place.»

What’s weirder, though, is after three years of hard grinding and being incredibly overbooked, «now, suddenly, nothing for the foreseeable future,» after her world tour was postponed and all other public appearances fell by the wayside.

The magazine initially caught up with Eilish after her Grammy triumph in January — before the coronavirus shutdown — so the previous night’s wins, and icon Tyler, the Creator’s comments about the ridiculousness of genre categories, were fresh in Eilish’s mind.

«Look, if I wasn’t white I would probably be in ‘rap.’ Why? They just judge from what you look like and what they know. I think that is weird,» she said. «The world wants to put you into a box; I’ve had it my whole career. Just because I am a white teenage female I am pop. Where am I pop? What part of my music sounds like pop?»

If she’s being honest, the five Grammy wins brought her validation, for her and brother/producer Finneas’ vision and their decision to stick to the style they believe in.

Eilish, 18, also opened up about her «huge» body issues, some of which she thinks were a result of how her exes have treated her. «I have never felt desired. My past boyfriends never made me feel desired. None of them,» said Eilish, who has long made a point of wearing baggy, billowy clothes that obscure her figure. «And it’s a big thing in my life that I have never been physically desired by somebody.»

That’s why, she said, she dresses the way she does. «I dress as I don’t like to think of you guys — I mean anyone, everyone, judging it, or the size of it,» she said. «But that doesn’t mean that I won’t wake up one day and decide to wear a tank top, which I have done before.» She’s not above getting excited when she switches it up and, suddenly, «my boobs are trending on Twitter. Which is fine — that s–t looks good.»

Eilish released a provocative video earlier this year about body image that was scrolled during the shows she played before the pandemic shut things down and she says that it’s still something she thinks about, but it’s complicated.

«Sometimes I dress like a boy. Sometimes I dress like a swaggy girl,» she said. «And sometimes I feel trapped by this persona that I have created, because sometimes I think people view me not as a woman. That tour video was about all that. It is me saying: ‘look, there is a body underneath these clothes and you don’t get to see it. Isn’t that a shame?'»

Billie Eilish
Danielle Levitt
Billie Eilish on the July/August cover of British GQ

Asked if she sees herself finding a mate, Eilish wasn’t sure if there’s room for someone else. Maybe eventually, she says, but for now she can’t see it. «All I ever wanted was a boyfriend,» she said. «Any time when it was rainy or cloudy, all I would wish is I was with some boy. That was my thing. Whenever we were somewhere nice, a beach or a balcony with a sunset, I would never be able to enjoy the experience as I just used to wish I was with some boy. And I couldn’t be further away from that. I’ve had my heart broken, sure. People have done some terrible s–t to me. The crazy s–t I have gone through. I have never felt powerful in a relationship.”

The bottom line, she said, is she’s just «not attracted to people anymore.»

Asked about the potentially negative impacts of social media, Eilish called it «unbelievable,» revealing that «I almost killed myself because of Twitter a couple of years ago… Like, for real.» The singer, who has been open in past interviews about her struggles with mental health, described trying to disengage from social media, but knowing deep down that it’s the place where her most die-hard fans live.

“Even if I try to avoid it, which I do now, I end up seeing it, because those fans, who are actually defending me, repost and respond to the original criticism in their feed. I can’t win. I tried turning comments off on Instagram, but, you know, I feel equally as bad doing that,» she said. «I can’t shut myself off completely. Instagram puts comments by those you follow, my friends, at the top of your post, but if you go one comment too far, my whole world is destroyed. I try so hard not to read the hate…”

As she has in previous profiles, Eilish described her family’s quirky, incredibly close home life, a moment when she considered suicide in a German hotel room during a tour several years ago and how an injury in dance class at 13 was incredibly traumatic, but also a gift, because it pushed her toward music. She also, once again, grappled with the idea of being one of the most famous teenagers on the planet.

“The thing I realized recently is this: when you get to a certain level of fame or notoriety, it doesn’t matter what you say or do, you are a certain level of known,» she said. «You will be super hated. And super loved. There are a million people who don’t like Beyoncé – and I don’t know how the hell you can’t love Beyoncé. Same with Rihanna. Same with Trump – people actually like that fool! How can you like this man? But everyone is hated and everyone is loved.”

When it comes down to it, though, paradoxically, the bigger Eilish has gotten, the safer she feels. She said success has made it earlier to figure out what she actually wants to do. That has come at a steep price, though, as she again describes the friends she’s lost along the way due to «touring, jealousy, misunderstanding… One day I had, like, 50 friends, and the next I had two.»

Billie Eilish
Danielle Levitt
Billie Eilish on the July/August cover of British GQ
Source: Billboard