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SZA Earns First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 With ‘SOS’

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SZA earns her first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart (dated Dec. 24) as SOS starts atop the list with one of the biggest debuts of 2022. The set launches with 318,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Dec. 15, according to Luminate – largely driven by streaming activity. That start marks the fifth-largest debut of the year and SZA’s biggest week ever.

SOS also garners the biggest streaming week ever for an R&B album, and the third-largest of 2022 among all albums.

Also in the top 10, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie captures his fourth top 10-charting effort, as Me vs. Myself debuts at No. 6.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Dec. 24, 2022-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Dec. 20. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of SOS’ 318,000 equivalent album units earned, SEA units comprise 309,500 (equaling 404.58 million on-demand official streams of the set’s tracks), album sales comprise 7,500 and TEA units comprise 1,000.

With a total start of 318,000 equivalent album units, SOS logs the fifth-biggest debut of 2022, following the opening weeks of Taylor Swift’s Midnights (1.578 million), Harry Styles’ Harry’s House (521,000), Drake and 21 Savage’s Her Loss (404,000) and Beyoncé’s Renaissance (332,000).

Further, as SOS generated 404.58 million official on-demand streams for its 23 songs, the set registers the biggest streaming week ever for an R&B album, the second-largest streaming week ever for an album by a female artist, and the third-largest streaming week of 2022 for any album. (R&B albums are defined as those that have hit Billboard’s Top R&B Albums chart.)

Among all R&B sets, SOS passes the streaming debut of Drake’s Honestly, Nevermind (250.23 million) for the top weekly total ever. The only larger streaming week ever registered by a woman was notched by Swift’s Midnights (549.26 million). And, the only bigger streaming weeks overall in 2022 were tallied by the debuts of Midnights and Her Loss (513.56 million).

SOS is SZA’s second studio album and comes more than five years after the June 2017 release of her smash Ctrl project. It debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, has earned 3.9 million equivalent album units and has yet to leave the weekly Billboard 200 after 288 consecutive weeks (it climbs 35-28 on the new chart). Ctrl contains a trio of Billboard Hot 100-charting hits in “Love Galore,” “The Weekend” and “Broken Clocks.” Before SOS’ release, Ctrl had amassed 5.1 billion official on-demand streams for its songs in the U.S.

Though fans waited a long time between albums from SZA, she kept very busy releasing hit singles and collaborative tracks. Since Ctrl’s release (but before SOS’ bow) SZA charted 15 further songs on the Hot 100, including five top 10s: “What Lovers Do,” billed to Maroon 5 featuring SZA; “All the Stars,” a co-lead collaboration with Kendrick Lamar; “Good Days;” “Kiss Me More,” billed to Doja Cat featuring SZA; and “I Hate U.”

SOS, which contains 23 songs, includes three tracks that were released prior to the album’s arrival: “Good Days” (released in late 2020), “I Hate U” (released in late 2021) and “Shirt” (released in October of 2022). Those three tracks collectively garnered 980 million official on-demand streams in the U.S. before SOS’ release.

SOS was released on Dec. 9 via Top Dawg/RCA Records. It gives RCA its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 since Tool’s Fear Inoculum (released via Tool Dissectional/Volcano/RCA) debuted at No. 1 on the Sept. 14, 2019-dated chart. SOS is the seventh No. 1 for Top Dawg, following four leaders from Kendrick Lamar (Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers in 2022, DAMN. in 2017, untitled unmastered. in 2016 and To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015; all were released via Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope Records, except Mr. Morale (pgLang/Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope), Black Panther: The Album in 2018 (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope), and ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron in 2014 (Top Dawg/Interscope).

Four former No. 1s follow SOS on the latest Billboard 200, as Midnights is a non-mover at No. 2 (139,000 equivalent album units; down 3%), Metro Boomin’s Heroes & Villains falls 1-3 in its second week after debuting atop the list (102,000; down 45%), Her Loss dips 3-4 (67,000; down 15%) and Michael Bublé’s Christmas is steady at No. 5 (62,000; up 14%).

A Boogie Wit da Hoodie captures his fourth top 10-charting album on the Billboard 200 as Me vs. Myself debuts at No. 6 with 53,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, SEA units comprise 50,000 (equaling 66.92 million on-demand official streams of the set’s songs), album sales comprise 3,000 and TEA units comprise a negligible. The rapper previously visited the top 10 with Artist 2.0 (No. 2 in 2020), Hoodie SZN (No. 1, 2019) and The Bigger Artist (No. 4, 2017).

Bad Bunny’s former No. 1 Un Verano Sin Ti falls 4-7 on the Billboard 200 with 51,000 equivalent album units earned (down 7%), Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song climbs 9-8 with just over 47,000 (up 17%), Vince Guaraldi Trio’s A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack rises 12-9 nearly 47,000 (up 19%) and Morgan Wallen’s chart-topping Dangerous: The Double Album falls 7-10 with 45,000 (down 3%).

Dangerous: The Double Album has now accumulated 100 nonconsecutive weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard 200. It continues to have the fifth-most weeks in the top 10 among all albums since the chart began publishing on a regular, weekly basis in March of 1956 – and the most for an album by a single artist.. The all-time top 10 record-holder is the original cast recording of My Fair Lady, with 173 weeks in the top 10 between 1956-60. See list, beow.

Albums With Most Weeks in Top 10 on Billboard 200 Chart (March 24, 1956-onwards)
Weeks in Top 10, Artist, Title, Year First Reached Top 10
173, Original Cast, My Fair Lady, 1956
109, Soundtrack, The Sound of Music, 1965
106, Soundtrack, West Side Story, 1962
105, Original Cast, The Sound of Music, 1960
100, Morgan Wallen, Dangerous: The Double Album, 2021
90, Soundtrack, South Pacific, 1958
87, Original Cast, Camelot, 1961
87, Soundtrack, Oklahoma!, 1956
85, Peter, Paul and Mary, Peter Paul and Mary, 1962
84, Adele, 21, 2011
84, Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A., 1984
(through the Dec. 24, 2022-dated chart)

Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes a thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious or unverifiable is removed, using established criteria, before final chart calculations are made and published.

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