After sorting through what was reported to be “technical difficulties,” Billboard has finally released their official numbers for the week ending on July 27, and just as most close observers predicted, Lana Del Rey ended up on top. The ethereal singer’s fifth album Lust For Life managed to break into the six-digit realm, selling 107,000 equivalent album units when all was said and done. Even more impressive given the dominance of streaming in the modern age, a full 80,000 copies of her album were picked up through traditional sales.
The race for the No. 1 spot on the charts ran super close, with the first, second, and third place finishers all managing to sell over 100,000 copies in their first weeks out. Tyler, The Creator just missed out on No. 1 by a mere 1,000 copies of his album Flower Boy, selling 106,000 copies total. Meek Mill’s Wins & Losses was nipping on both of their heels however, with 102,000 copies sold. Put together, and it’s the first time this year that three different albums crossed the six-digit threshold. The last time this happened was in December 2016 when Metallica’s Hardwired… To Self-Destruct debuted at No. 1, followed by Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic and Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings.
Tyler took to Twitter shortly after the news was revealed to express his frustration over missing out on the top spot by a mere 1,000 albums, but also to congratulate Lana on her win.
After delaying the release of their numbers, Billboard issued a statement earlier this week saying, “We’re getting questions around whether Billboard is suddenly counting free streams for this coming week’s Billboard 200, seemingly due to some misinformation posted online,” they wrote. “Billboard does not currently have in place any rule or rules dictating how an approved streaming chart contributor can present or promote content on their services,” adding that their results are, “arrived at in partnership with our industry constituents (record labels, distribution companies, etc.).”
This statement was issued in response to questions about bots potentially goosing the numbers for Wins & Losses by putting the album in front of Tidal’s paywall.