RS Charts: Drake Smashes 2021 Records With 'Certified Lover Boy' Debut - Rolling Stone
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Drake Smashes 2021 Records With ‘Certified Lover Boy’ Debut

New albums from Iron Maiden and Imagine Dragons also arrived in the Top Ten

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Republic Records*

A week after Kanye West set a new high-water mark for the biggest album debut of 2021 on the Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart with Donda, Drake obliterated that record with Certified Lover Boy. West launched with 313,000 album-equivalent units. Drake earned close to double that total, more than 595,000 album-equivalent units, even though Certified Lover Boy had fewer songs than Donda

The bulk of Drake’s first-week total came from streaming services: The 21 tracks on Certified Lover Boy collectively picked up more than 680 million plays. In addition, Drake’s set sold more 43,000 album downloads and roughly the same number of individual song downloads. 

In its second week on the chart, Donda fell to Number Two, earning 6,400 sales and 169.3 million streams. Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour, which has spent multiple weeks at Number One on the RS 200, held at Number Three, selling 11,400 copies and amassing 54.8 million streams. 

Aside from Drake, the long-running heavy metal group Iron Maiden landed the biggest debut of the week thanks to a fanbase that’s still devoted to buying albums. Iron Maiden earned just 3.1 million streams, but sold over 47,000 copies of Senjutsu — even besting Drake’s sales total for Certified Lover Boy

Doja Cat rounded out the Top Five with Planet Her, which continues to stream well (61.6 million) weeks after its release. After debuting at Number Two behind West on the previous chart, Halsey’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power fell to Number 17 (14.2 million streams).

Top Albums

The week of September 10, 2021

Certified Lover Boy


Album Units 232.4K


Kacey Musgraves
Album Units 94.9K


Kanye West
Album Units 79.2K


Olivia Rodrigo
Album Units 58.3K

The Melodic Blue

Album Units 52.5K

The Rolling Stone 200 Albums chart tracks the most popular releases of the week in the United States. Entries are ranked by album units, a number that combines digital and physical album sales, digital song sales, and audio streams using a custom weighting system. The chart does not include passive listening such as terrestrial radio or digital radio. The RS 200 Albums chart is updated daily, and each week Rolling Stone finalizes and publishes an official version of the chart, covering the seven-day period ending with the previous Thursday.

Iron Maiden’s robust sales count catapulted them past Imagine Dragons, which arrived at Number Nine with Mercury – Act 1. The 13-song set picked up more than 16,000 sales and around 16.1 million streams. Memphis rapper Big 30 barely missed the Top Ten with King of Killbranch (Number 14, 24.6 million streams). And rising star Jhay Cortez, who co-wrote hits for Natti Natasha and Cardi B before breaking through with hits like “No Me Conoce” and “Dakiti,” landed at Number 62 with Timelezz (12.6 million streams).

Metallica’s self-titled album rose an impressive 49 spots on the latest RS 200, reaching a new peak of Number 37 (11.2 million streams) in honor of its recent 30th anniversary. Next week, expect Certified Lover Boy to repeat at Number One. New albums from Kacey Musgraves and Baby Keem should also debut in the Top Ten. 

See the full RS 200 here.


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