Justin Bieber has notched his sixth No. 1 on the U.S. album sales chart with “Purpose,” which moved 649,000 units in the week ending Nov. 19, according to data from Nielsen Music.
Bieber’s latest won the release date showdown with One Direction, whose fifth album “Made in the A.M.” finished at No. 2 with 460,000 units. The heat surrounding the rivalry fueled higher sales for both albums; ahead of release, industry predictions pegged each album at a launch around 300,000. This is the first time two debuting albums each sold more than 400,000 units in the same week since Kanye West and 50 Cent went head-to-head in 2007, when West’s “Graduation” finished with 957,000 units and “Curtis” opened to 691,000, according to Billboard.
Both acts benefited from their tireless promotion: Justin Bieber appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ show for an entire week and 1D shut down Hollywood Blvd. for a concert on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Each new album surpassed Spotify’s record for most streams in the week following release.
These blockbuster releases were joined by six other new albums in the top 10. Logic’s “Incredible True Story” opened at No. 3 with 135,000 units, followed by Jeezy’s “Church in These Streets” which bowed at No. 4 with 107,000. Chris Young’s “I’m Comin’ Over” hit No. 5 with 65,000 units. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Letters From the Labyrinth” debuted in seventh place with 46,000 units, ahead of Alessia Cara’s “Know-It-All” (No. 9 with 36,000 units) and Kirk Franklin’s “Losing My Religion” (No. 10 with 35,000 units).
Chart familiars Chris Stapleton and the Weeknd held on in the flood of new releases. Stapleton’s “Traveller,” which had been No. 1 for the past two charts, dropped to sixth place with 53,000 units, down 57%. The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” slipped from No. 4 to No. 8, down 8% with 43,000 units.
Looking ahead to the next chart, Adele is already a lock for No. 1, not to mention No. 1 for all of 2015. Her latest, “25,” has already broken the single-week U.S. album sales record in just four days.