Kendrick Lamar lands his fourth #1 album on the Billboard 200 as his latest release, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, hits the top of the chart (dated May 28). He has debuted at number 1 with each of his last four albums.
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers swoop into the US with 295,500 equivalent album units in the week ending May 19, the biggest week of the year for an album, according to Luminate. It’s the third week in a row this benchmark has been broken. A week ago, Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti made it with its #1 debut of 274,000, and the week before that, Future’s I Never Liked You bowed to #1 with 222,000.
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Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers was announced on April 18th and released on May 13th. It’s Lamar’s first album in just over five years. His last project was DAMN., released in April 2017. DAMN. spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 (his longest run at No. 1), was the No. 1 album on the chart as of year-end 2017, and won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
The 18 tracks of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers are split evenly on the album into two parts of nine tracks each. The first half is called Big Steppers and the second half is called Mr. Morale. The album was not preceded by any pre-singles (although Lamar released the non-album track “The Heart Part 5” on May 8, along with a flashy music video). Following the album’s release, Lamar released the official music video for “N95,” a song included on the album.
Also in the new Top 10 on the Billboard 200, TOMORROW X TOGETHER achieves its all-time highest charting album with Minisode 2, its debut at No. 4: Thursday’s Child, Florence + The Machine co-conquers its fourth Top 10 album arriving at No. 7 from Dance Fever and The Black Keys land their sixth top 10 appearance with the No. 8 start of Dropout Boogie.
The Billboard 200 chart lists the week’s most popular albums in the United States based on multimetric consumption measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. The units include album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA), and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equates to one album sale, or 10 album tracks sold, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscribed official on-demand audio and video streams generated from tracks on an album. The new chart, dated May 28, 2022, will be released in full on the Billboard website on May 24. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’ 295,500 earned equivalent album units, SEA units comprise 258,500 (equivalent to 343.02 million official on-demand streams of the set’s 18 tracks), album sales comprise 35,500, and TEA units comprise 1,500.
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers claims the largest week in terms of corresponding album units for any album since Adele’s debut 30 with 839,000 units in the week ending November 25, 2021 (chart from December 4, 2021).
Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers records the largest streaming week of 2022 for an R&B/Hip-Hop album and the second largest streaming week of 2022 for an album. The biggest streaming week of the year right now belongs to the debut frame of Bad Bunny’s 23-track Un Verano Sin Ti: 261,000 SEA units; That equates to 356.55 million official on-demand streams of his tracks.
Notably, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers claims the highest weekly album units of the year over Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti, despite five fewer tracks (18 vs. 23) contributing to his SEA unit total. (The Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers total jumped past Un Verano Sin Ti thanks largely to traditional album sales.)
Mr. Moral & The Big Steppers’ initial sales figure of 35,000 came solely from digital album sales, as the set will not be released on CD until May 27th. This sales total marks the biggest week of sales for a digital album in 2022, and the biggest of any album since Adele’s 30th birthday with 205,000 digital album sales in the first week (chart as of 4 December 2021).
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti falls from No. 1 in its second week (182,000 album equivalent units earned; down 34%). The former #1 Future I Never Liked You slipped from #2 to #3 with 89,500 units (down 23%).
TOMORROW X TOGETHER scores its second Top 10 album and highest charting success yet on the Billboard 200 as Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child hits No. 4. It surpasses the debut at No. 5 and peak of The Chaos Chapter: Freeze in June 2021. (Overall, Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child is the sixth chart attempt on the Billboard 200 for the South Korean pop quintet.)
Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child starts with 68,500 album units earned. Of this, 65,500 are accounted for by album sales; SEA units are 3,000 (equivalent to 4.37 million official on-demand streams of the set’s five tracks) and TEA units are a negligible total.
Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child hits #1 on the Top Album Sales chart with the 3rd best selling week of any album in 2022 – 65,500 albums sold. In fact, the entire sum was sold via CDs, while only about 500 were sold via digital download. The album was not available in any other configuration (e.g. vinyl LP or cassette).
Like many K-pop releases, the album’s CD configuration was issued in collector’s packs (eight total, including exclusive versions for Target and Barnes & Noble), each with a standard set of internal paper items and random items (like photocards and postcards).
Morgan Wallen’s chart-topping Dangerous: The Double Album slips down one spot to No. 5 despite a 5% gain (55,500 earned equivalent album units). Jack Harlow’s Come Home the Kids Miss You falls three notches to No. 6 in its second week with 55,000 units (down 51%).
Florence + The Machine collects its fourth Top 10 album on the Billboard 200 while Dance Fever debuts at No. 7 with 54,000 earned equivalent album units. Of this, 42,500 are accounted for by album sales, 11,000 by SEA units (equivalent to 14.5 million official on-demand streams of the 14 tracks in the set) and 500 by TEA units.
Dance Fever was ushered in by the single “My Love”, which stayed at No. 1 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart for two weeks (the group’s sixth No. 1) and in recent release entered the Top 10 on the Alternative Airplay chart climbed chart (dated May 21). On the latter chart, “My Love” is the act’s fourth top 10 and first since 2015’s “Ship to Wreck.”
The Black Keys round out the week-long quartet of debuts in the top 10 on the Billboard 200, while Dropout Boogie bows out at No. 8. The set starts with 33,000 earned equivalent album units. Of this, 27,500 are accounted for by album sales; SEA units are 5,000 (equivalent to 6.5 million official on-demand streams of the set’s 10 tracks) and TEA units are 500 units. Overall, Dropout Boogie is the duo’s sixth top 10 album on the Billboard 200 and comes just a year after their last release, Delta Kream, which debuted and peaked at #6 on the chart dated May 29, 2021.
Dropout Boogie was preceded by the single “Wild Child”, which topped both the Adult Alternative Airplay and Alternative Airplay charts and reached the Top 15 on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart.
The new Billboard 200 top 10 wraps up two former No. 1s: Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour falls 5-9 with 32,000 equivalent album units earned (though up less than 1%) and Lil Durk’s 7220 slips 7-10 with 29,000 units from ( 7% less.
Luminate, the independent data provider of the Billboard charts, conducts a comprehensive and thorough review of all data submissions used to compile the weekly chart rankings. Luminate verifies and authenticates data and removes any suspicious or unverifiable activity based on specified criteria before performing the final chart calculations and publishing them. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious and unverifiable will be disqualified prior to the final calculation.