‘Sour’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart With 2021’s Biggest Week

Monday, May 31, 2021

Olivia Rodrigo captures the biggest week of 2021 for an album, as her debut release, Sour, opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with 295,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending May 27, according to MRC Data.

Sour also launches with the second-largest streaming week ever for a non-R&B/hip-hop album, and second-biggest for an album of any genre by a female artist.

Sour is the singer-songwriter and actress’ debut album, and was preceded by a trio of top 10 hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier in 2021, including two No. 1s: Drivers License and Good 4 U. Before Drivers License debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in January, Rodrigo broke through with roles on Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark in 2016 and Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series in 2019 – along with contributions to those shows’ soundtrack albums.

Of Sour‘s 295,000 equivalent album units earned in the tracking week ending May 27, SEA units comprise 218,000 units (equaling 300.73 million on-demand streams of the album’s 11 tracks), album sales comprise 72,000 (making it the top-selling album of the week) and TEA units comprise 4,000.

Sour was released on May 21 via Geffen Records/Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA). It’s the second No. 1 for Geffen this year, following Rod Wave’s SoulFly (Alamo/Geffen/IGA, April 10-dated chart).

Biggest Week of 2021 for an Album: With 295,000 units, Sour surpasses 2021’s previous biggest-week, tallied by Taylor Swift’s Fearless (Taylor’s Version) when it bowed 291,000 units (April 24-dated chart). (Swift herself has a writing credit on Sour, as the track 1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back samples the Swift-penned New Year’s Day, from Swift’s 2017 Reputation album.)

Dominant Debut: Sour captures the largest week, by units, for an act’s debut charting effort since the Billboard 200 transitioned from an album-sales only ranking to an equivalent album units-based chart on the Dec. 13, 2014 survey. It beats Cardi B’s debut studio set, and first Billboard 200 entry, Invasion of Privacy, which opened at No. 1 on the April 21, 2018 chart with 255,000 units. Rodrigo is also the first woman to see her debut charting album open at No. 1 since Invasion of Privacy.

Second-Largest Streaming Week for a Non-R&B/Hip-Hop Album: Sour starts with 218,000 SEA units – totaling 300.73 million on-demand streams of the album’s 11 tracks. That marks the second-largest streaming week for both a non-R&B/hip-hop album and second-biggest for an album by a woman of any genre. Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next continues to hold the record for the largest streaming week for a non-R&B/hip-hop set, and any album by a woman, with 307.07 million streams for its 12 tracks in its first week (chart dated Feb. 23, 2019).

Sour‘s Short and Sweet Arrival: With just 11 tracks in total on Sour, the album is the shortest No. 1, by track count, since BTS’ eight-track Be debuted at No. 1 on the Dec. 5, 2020-dated chart. It’s fairly unusual for such a short album to crown the Billboard 200. Of the 27 No. 1 albums in the past 12 months (from June 6, 2020-onwards), 20 of them had at least 15 tracks in their opening week, and 11 of those had at least 20. (Some albums will garner a reissue in their first week of release, adding further tracks beyond their standard core tracklist. And many albums typically get reissued weeks and months later, with additional tracks. So far, Sour only has 11 tracks across all retailers and streamers.)

One last note on Sour‘s debut: It brings just the second person named Olivia to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Before Olivia Rodrigo, the only Olivia to top the chart was Olivia Newton-John, with two No. 1 albums in 1974 and 1975 (If You Love Me Let Me Know and Have You Never Been Mellow).

SOURCE: Billboard

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