Kendrick Lamar Hangs on to Top Spot on U.S. Album Chart

Kendrick Lamar Album Sales
Chris Weeks/Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” proved that it still has plenty of wind beneath its wings by maintaining the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 album sales chart for the week ending March 29, according to data from Nielsen music.

Lamar’s album moved 123,000 copies, down 66% from the previous week’s impressive debut. The rapper revealed to MTV that his album was originally titled “Tu Pimp a Caterpillar” as a nod to Tupac, but in the end elected to swap in the “Butterfly” to evoke the “brightness of life.”

The last album to hold on to the top spot for two weeks in a row was Taylor Swift’s smash “1989” when it dropped in November. If Lamar can follow Swift’s lead on the chart, he’s in for a long tenure in the top 10: “1989” remains at No. 5 this week, down just 7% with 52,000 units moved. Swift’s latest has consistently remained in the top five since debuting 22 weeks ago.

The chart saw two new additions this week, with debuts from Action Bronson and the children of Kidz Bop entering in the top 10. Rapper Bronson’s full-length studio debut “Mr. Wonderful” moved 48,000 units, good for No. 7.

“Kidz Bop 28” arrived in 10th place with 40,000 units. The new collection of KB covers includes its share of amusingly cleaned-up lyrics. Nick Jonas’ “Jealous,” for example, loses the line “You’re too sexy beautiful, and everybody wants a taste,” for the more kid-friendly “You’re too pretty beautiful, and everybody likes you too.”

A pair of soundtracks continued to fare well on the top half of the chart. The “Empire” soundtrack clung to its second place ranking, down 44% with 61,000 units. “Fifty Shades of Grey’s” soundtrack moved up from fourth to third place, moving 54,000 units.

Anticipation of Sunday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards might have affected the improved chart performances of emotional Brits Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran, who were both nominated for awards. Smith, who ended up taking home the trophy for best new artist, jumped from No. 9 to No. 4 with “In the Lonely Hour,” up 15% with 53,000 units moved. Sheeran’s “X” was up 2%, climbing 7-6 with 50,000 units moved.

Drake and Maroon V bring up the rear at No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. Drizzy’s “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” was down 15% with 44,000 units, and Adam Levine & Co. slipped 6%, moving 42,000 units of “V.”

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