Nearly two months after The Life of Pablo debuted at Madison Square Garden – followed by a Tidal stream-only release, a declaration that the album would never be on Apple Music, then the eventual dispersion of The Life of Pablo to Apple Music and other streaming services – Kanye West's latest LP has finally found its way to the top of the Billboard 200.
West's The Life of Pablo has only sold 28,000 digital copies since West allowed Tidal and his own site to begin selling the album. However, because the Billboard 200 now groups together song streams into SEAs – streaming equivalent albums – West's new LP translated 99 million U.S. streams into 66,000 copies. That number plus the digital copies gave The Life of Pablo a total sum of 94,000 copies, Billboard reports.
As West noted on Twitter:
I also wanted to point out that it’s the first album to go number 1 off of streaming!!!— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 9, 2016
(The album was previously held off the Billboard 200 because Tidal wouldn't share streaming numbers with Nielsen Music, a practice that officially ended last week when the album became available for commercial downloading and branched out to the other streaming services.)
Despite its unconventional route to the top of the Billboard 200, The Life of Pablo marks West's seventh consecutive Number One album, following Late Registration, Graduation, 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Watch the Throne and Yeezus.
Chris Stapleton, who was propelled into an overnight country sensation thanks to a huge CMA Awards, received another awards show boost from the Academy of Country Music Awards. Stapleton's Traveller jumped from Number Eight to Number Two as his debut LP sold another 59,000 copies, Billboard writes.
In addition to The Life of Pablo, three new releases broke into the Top 10: Powered by their huge single "7 Years," Lukas Graham's self-titled album debuted at Number Three and 59,000 copies, which was followed by Weezer's latest eponymous album – dubbed "The White Album" – at Number Four and 49,000 units. Big Sean and Jhene Aiko's Twenty88 project bowed in at Number Five.
Last week's victor, Zayn Malik's Mind of Mine, dropped to Number Seven in its second week on charts. It was followed by Justin Bieber's Purpose (Number Eight), Adele's 25 (Nine) and Twenty One Pilots' Blurryface.