Six days after The Weeknd’s latest album “After Hours” arrived to rapturous response, a ray of light at the end of one of the worst weeks anyone can remember, the album is headed for one of the biggest debuts of the year, and an easy album-chart topper.
According to BuzzAngle Music, in just its first three days, the album racked up 140,500 total units for the week, with 36,400 song sales and 58.2 million streams — however, those numbers are much bigger for the year, since three advance singles were released, including the massive global hits “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless.” For the year, the project has 222,000 songs sales and more than 416 million song streams for a whopping 309,000 album-equivalent units.
While numbers are heavily weighted toward the first days of release, The Weeknd’s album has also had nearly across-the-board positive reviews from critics, including Variety.
Thus far, the biggest week has belonged to Eminem’s surprise release “Music To Be Murdered By,” which tallied 282,000 on sales of 117,000, with BTS’ latest “Map of the Soul: 7” easily topped Rolling Stone’s Albums chart this week, earning 218,000 units.
By comparison, Halsey’s “Manic,” which just became the Recording Industry Assn. of America’s first platinum album of the year, had a first-week project total of 245,000 when it arrived Jan. 17, with 183,000 of those coming from album sales. A bulk of Halsey’s RIAA certification comes from pre-release activity on earlier singles, with “Without Me” arriving as far back as September 2018. The other big debut this year is Justin Bieber’s “Changes,” released Feb. 14, with just over 232,000 its first week out.