Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn’ Is 2017’s Best-Selling Billboard Chart Debut

Strong first-week sales give Kendrick Lamar his third consecutive No. 1 album.


Image via Top Dawg Entertainment


Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed album Damn has dominated the music news cycle. The praise has translated to commercial success, as Kendrick’s latest project takes its expected spot as the top-selling album in the U.S. Damn boasts 353,000 traditional album sales and an additional 227,000 streaming equivalent albums—a figure that is reflected by the fact that multiple tracks appear in Spotify’s Top 200 chart. Adding the physical sales and Billboard’s post-2014 practice of equating 10 digital track sales or 1,500 streams to one album sale gives Kendrick total first week sales of 603,000 units.

For comparison’s sake, Kendrick’s numbers top the 503,000 unit first week sales of Drake’s More Life and his own 324,000 units sold of 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly. In terms of strictly physical album sales, the 353,000 traditional units sold surpassed Ed Sheeran’s previous high water mark of 322,000 for ÷ [Divide] and are the highest since J. Cole sold 363,000 physical units of 4 Your Eyez Only on the way to going platinum with no features. If those numbers seem higher than previous predictions, it’s because they are.

“[The] debut is larger than expected: on the afternoon of April 20, industry prognosticators had forecasted a bow of between 530,000 and 550,000 units,” wrote Billboard’s Keith Caulfield. “And that figure was an upgrade from three days earlier, when its start was pegged at 475,000.”

Long story short, there are a lot of listeners who feel just like Kendrick Lamar’s mother when it comes to Damn​, and they showed their affinity by purchasing and streaming the album.

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