It's official. With 1.04 million equivalent album unit sold in the week ending May 5 in the United States, Drake's latest release VIEWS debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200 chart. What's really impressive about this achievement is the fact that the album's songs were streamed a record 245.1 million times in the U.S. during the tracking week. Think about that for a second: 245.1 million times. That's two-and-a-half times more than the previous record holder Justin Bieber, whose album Purpose amounted to just over 100 million plays for its songs during its debut week last year.
Factor in the 852,000 copies of pure, traditional album sales, and VIEWS is far and away the biggest single-week selling album of 2016 thus far. At least at this point, it's difficult to imagine any other release even coming close. It's a tremendous feather in Drake's cap as the album officially becomes the Toronto rapper's sixth consecutive No. 1, following in the footsteps of his joint project with Future, What a Time To Be Alive, as well as his his solo albums, which include last year's If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Nothing Was the Same in 2014, Take Care in 2012, and Thank Me Later in 2010. In fact, the only album that Drizzy has put out that has failed to top the charts was his debut EP, So Far Gone, which he dropped in 2009.
Elsewhere on the charts, Beyoncé slipped out of first place, but settled into second by selling impressive 321,000 copies of her latest work LEMONADE. Meanwhile, Prince continues his run near the top following his unexpected passing last month, claiming both the third and fourth positions with his albums Purple Rain and The Very Best of Prince, respectively.