Kanye West returns to a familiar spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as his latest release, Jesus Is King, debuts at No. 1. It’s his record-tying ninth consecutive debut at No. 1, matching Eminem’s still-active streak for the longest in the chart’s history.
Jesus Is King was released on Oct. 25 via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings and earned 264,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 31, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 109,000 were in album sales, while the rest was powered largely by streaming activity according to Billboard.
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. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Nov. 9-dated chart (where Jesus Is King bows to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites on Nov. 5.
Of Jesus Is King’s total unit start of 264,000, album sales comprise 109,000, TEA units equal 3,000 and SEA units total 151,000. The latter sum translates to 196.9 million on-demand audio streams for the album’s 11 tracks.
Here are some notable feats West achieves with the arrival of Jesus Is King:
West’s record-tying Ninth Consecutive No. 1 Debut: Jesus Is King continues a remarkable streak on the Billboard 200 for West. The set marks his record-tying ninth straight album to debut at No. 1; the entirety of his charting efforts from 2005 through 2019 has opened in the top slot. His only album to miss No. 1 was his debut effort, 2004’s The College Dropout, which debuted and peaked at No. 2.
West ties Eminem for the most consecutive No. 1 debuts, as the latter has entered at No. 1 with his last nine releases — from the 2000s The Marshall Mathers LP through 2018’s Kamikaze. Like West, Eminem has also only missed the No. 1 position once, also with his debut charting effort, 1999’s The Slim Shady LP, which debuted and peaked at No. 2.
Among all acts, Jay-Z has the most debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with 14 — but they were not consecutive.
Nine No. 1s in a Row: West and Eminem are also now tied for the most consecutive No. 1s on the Billboard 200. They are both ahead of the Beatles, which saw all eight of their charting efforts between 1965’s Beatles VI and 1968’s self-titled album (White Album) reach No. 1.
Unlike West and Eminem, none of those albums from the Beatles debuted at No. 1 (per common practice before the advent of electronically tracked music activity by Nielsen Music in 1991). All eight of them climbed to the top, after debuting at lower positions.
Sixth-Most No. 1s on the Billboard 200: With a ninth No. 1 on the Billboard 200, West ties five other acts for the sixth-most No. 1s in the history of the chart (which dates back to 1956), as he now stands alongside Garth Brooks, Drake, Eminem, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones. Ahead of all of them: the Beatles with a record 19 No. 1s; Jay-Z (14); Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand (11 each); and Elvis Presley (10).
Sixth No. 1 of the Decade: Jesus Is King marks West’s sixth No. 1 in the 2010s, matching the number earned by both Future and Justin Bieber since 2010. Only Drake, with nine No. 1s this decade, has more. (All nine of Drake’s No. 1s on the chart have come since 2010, starting with Thank Me Later.)
Fifth-Biggest Streaming Week of 2019: Jesus Is King’s first-week SEA units totaled 151,000, which equates to 196.9 million on-demand audio streams for the 11 tracks on the album. That’s the fifth-largest streaming week for any album in 2019, behind only the debut frames of Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding (365.4 million), Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next (307.1 million), Taylor Swift’s Lover (226.1 million) and the second week of Bleeding (220.9 million).
West’s Biggest Streaming Week Ever: With Jesus Is King launching with 196.9 million on-demand audio streams for its tracks, it surpasses West’s previous biggest streaming week, logged when Ye bowed with 180.1 million in 2018. (Notably, Ye only had seven tracks, versus King’s 11. So, Ye had an average of 25.7 million streams per track, while King had 17.9 million per track.)
Second-Largest Sales Week of 2019 for an R&B/Hip-Hip Album: With 109,000 copies sold, Jesus Is King collects the second-biggest sales week of 2019 for an R&B/hip-hop album. King is second only to the debut frame of Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding, with 200,000 sold. King’s first week was bolstered by an array of merchandise/album bundles sold via West’s official website, as well as albums sold bundled with a pre-sale code for early access to upcoming West events (including a trio at the Forum in Los Angeles, a pair of recent Sunday Service programs and an album launch/listening event).
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding falls one spot with 81,000 equivalent album units (down 12%).
English singer and multi-instrumentalist Rex Orange County (real name: Alex O’Connor) bows at No. 3 with his major-label debut, Pony. The set, his first release for RCA Records after two independently distributed albums, starts with 70,000 equivalent album units. Of that sum, 56,000 were in album sales, boosted by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with his upcoming U.S. tour and an array of merchandise/album bundles sold via his website.
YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s former No. 1 AI YoungBoy 2 falls 2-4 on the Billboard 200, with 64,000 equivalent album units (down 20%), while Summer Walker’s Over It descends 3-5 with 60,000 units (down 14%). A trio of former leaders is up next, as DaBaby’s Kirk dips 4-6 with 40,000 units (down 18%), Taylor Swift’s Lover drops 5-7 with 35,000 units (down 12%) and Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? retreats 6-8 with 32,000 units (down 1%).
Country band Old Dominion nabs its second top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, as the quintet’s new self-titled set arrives at No. 9 with 31,000 equivalent album units earned (with 19,000 of that sum in album sales). The group previously visited the top 10 with 2017’s Happy Endings, which debuted and peaked at No. 7 (starting with 41,000 units).
Closing out the new Billboard 200’s top 10 is Young Thug’s former leader So Much Fun, which falls 7-10 with 28,000 equivalent album units (down 10%).