Katy Perry’s ‘Witness’ Goes No. 1, But SZA Is Right Behind Her

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Regardless of how you feel about Katy Perry’s cultural appropriation faux pas or her 72-hour livestreaming experiment, there’s no denying that the singer is a bona fide hit maker. While her just-released fifth album Witness hasn’t yet produced a single on the level of, say, “Roar” or “Firework,” the record itself is selling very well. Like Teenage Dream and Prism before it, Witness just made its Billboard 200 chart debut in the top spot, Billboard reports.

The album, led by the disco-leaning single “Chained To The Rhythm,” moved 180,000 equivalent album units for the week ending June 15, with 162,000 of those coming from traditional album sales, Nielsen Music says. Although that number isn’t as big as what Prism achieved in 2013 (286,000 sales in its debut chart appearance), it’s still the biggest week for an album by a woman this year.

Perry isn’t the only female setting chart milestones this week, though: SZA just released her long-awaited debut album Ctrl, which earned 60,000 units and made its first chart appearance at No. 3. The TDE singer owes a lot of the record’s success to streaming numbers: 33,000 of those units came from streams, which equates to 49.52 million plays.

Revisit our dissection of the difficult rollout behind Katy Perry’s Witness here, and find our take on SZA’s Ctrl here.

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