Drake Fans Call Foul After Kenny Chesney Postpones Tour That Helped Him Secure No. 1 Album

The Toronto rapper's surprise Dark Lane Demo Tapes debuted at No. 2 this week with 223,000 equivalent album units.


Image via Getty/Timothy Kuratek/CBS


Drake fans aren't happy. 

The Toronto rapper's surprise Dark Lane Demo Tapes debuted at No. 2 this week with 223,000 equivalent album units. Though this was a respectable showing, the project was about 10,000 units shy from the top spot, and marked the end Drake's decade-long No. 1 debut streak. As you probably know, Kenny Chesney's Here and Now topped the Billboard 200 with 233,000 equivalent album units earned its first week; from that figure, 222,000 were in pure sales. 

Drake's defeat was, no doubt, devastating to his fan base, especially when it was revealed that Chesney managed to gain an edge through the controversial tactic of sales bundling. 

Per Billboard:

Here and Now’s debut was largely powered by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with Chesney's upcoming tour ...

Chesney Chillaxifcation Tour was set to kick off last month, but was postponed over coronavirus concerns. The country star told fans he was hopeful the tour would kick off at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field on May 30, which might explain why his team continued to offer the ticket bundle deal as a growing number of live events were scrapped because of the health crisis.

Just days after Here and Now took the No. 1 slot—thanks in large part to certified bundle sales—Chesney announced the Chillaxification Tour had been postponed to 2021. This, of course, reignited the debate surrounding album bundling and whether Chesney rightfully earned the No. 1 spot over Drake.

Kenny Chesney's 2020 Chillaxification Tour has been postponed to 2021. The tour's associated bundle helped propel his 'Here and Now' album to a #1 debut on the Billboard 200 this week.

— chart data (@chartdata) May 14, 2020

According to BillboardHere and Now had generated only 13.4 million on-demand streams, while Dark Lane Demo Tapes received 269 million. This large gap suggests Chesney probably wouldn't have earned the No. 1 spot without the boost from ticket bundles, which were offered for a tour that may not even happen.

Drake fans have since taken to social media to express their frustration, calling on Billboard to revise their methodology to ensure something like this never happens again.

If I was Drake I would be pissed at Kenny Chesney. Idk but bundles counting towards sales just doesn't seem right, especially a tour bundle for a tour that isn't happening anymore

— Normal (@sbximperial) May 12, 2020

Kenny Chesney beat Drake for the #1 album this week the world is really ending

— Jermaine (@MishaelTheis) May 8, 2020

I know we're not going to make a big deal about Drake having the #2 album in the country. Don't be a sore winner. Who cares how Kenny Chesney may have snatched the #1 spot, Drake still did great. He should be happy and all that other BS y'all was selling in 2018. https://t.co/1PdlNPtTHl

— Fck_Yaya🎧✍️🏾 (@FckYaya) May 9, 2020

Drake’s Mixtape didn’t debute #1 because Kenny Chesney used the flawed @billboard system and used tour tickets that counted for album sales. Drake Mixtape streamed higher than any project last weak. If this is the way his #1 streak ends, I’ll take it. Drake is the true winner. https://t.co/Ajyfkd2ySU

— Drake Lyrics. (@Draketext) May 11, 2020

Look, I'm amused that Kenny Chesney got a #1 album over Drake, but when you see that Drake "sold" 201K streaming-equivalent-albums and Kenny just 10.5K, it really reveals how these touring bundles (when you get an album redemption download w/ tour tickets) game the charts. pic.twitter.com/813B89Rw6j

— Grady Smith (@gradywsmith) May 11, 2020

Had Drake been the one to bundle and get #1 because of it, there would be so much hate. But when other people do it, it's okay? I am confident Drake would have gotten #1 if Kenny hadn't bundled (based on how close their numbers were).

— Hector🎧 (@iHannibalHector) May 11, 2020

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