The Weeknd has earned 2016’s third-highest debut with his new album, Starboy.
The album comes in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 348,000 units sold. Drake’s ‘Views’ and Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ are the only two albums with bigger first week sales this year.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Dec. 17-dated chart (where The Weeknd bows at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Dec. 6.
Starboy, the Weeknd’s second Billboard 200 No. 1, was released on Nov. 25 through XO/Republic Records and is the follow-up to his first leader, Beauty Behind the Madness. The new set was initially released commercially as a download and through streaming services. Its CD release followed three days later on Nov. 28.
Starboy’s debut got a jolt from streaming equivalent album units, as a whopping 117,000 of its total unit sum were driven by streaming units (equaling 175.2 million streams of Starboy’s songs in the week). That’s the second-largest debut streaming week ever, following Drake’s Views, which clocked 163,000 streaming units in its opening frame (equating to 245.1 million streams of songs from the album that week).
Starboy is only the second album to surpass 100,000 streaming equivalent album units in a single week, following Drake’s set. Views actually did it three times: during its debut week, along with its third (124,000) and fourth (111,000) frames.
Previous to Starboy’s release and following its bow, the Weeknd offered some high-profile TV performances on Saturday Night Live (Oct. 1), the MTV Europe Music Awards (Nov. 6), the American Music Awards (Nov. 20), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Nov. 24) and The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Nov. 28). He also sat down for interviews with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 (Nov. 24), The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 2) and The New York Times (Nov. 28). Meanwhile, the set’s title-cut lead single has so far peaked at No. 2 (for five weeks) on the Billboard Hot 100 and led the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for six weeks.