It didn’t take long for 2021 to get kicked into gear with blockbuster music breakouts. Not even a full week into their respective releases, both pop newcomer Olivia Rodrigo and country star Morgan Wallen have shattered records on streaming charts, setting themselves up to pull far ahead of their respective packs when the leaders of the song and album charts are revealed early next week.
Rodrigo released her debut song “Drivers License” last Friday, earning an impressive 2 million streams on Spotify in the first 24 hours of its release. The song soon picked up even more steam due to its popularity on TikTok, and by its fifth day posted 6.1 million streams on U.S. Spotify charts alone — making it the first song to ever garner over 6 million streams on the chart in a single day. It has also become the most-streamed non-holiday song on the global charts, racking up 13.4 million plays on Tuesday and promptly breaking that record with 13.6 million Wednesday.
The 17-year-old singer will have no competition in topping the song chart this week, with her record-setting Spotify streams being bolstered across other streaming platforms. She sits atop Apple Music and Amazon Music’s song charts, as well, and has seen well over 20,000 pure sales already.
After the song spiked this past weekend, the singer told Variety, “I feel so grateful for everyone who has supported me throughout this insane journey. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I can’t wait to share more of my music this year,” Rodrigo is a new face to many, but built her fame as an actor on “Bizaardvark” and “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.” She is now signed to Geffen Records.
While Rodrigo was setting records of her own, Wallen got busy charting country music’s course into new waters. Traditionally surpassing other genres in terms of pure sales, country music as a whole has had a less-than-stellar track record picking up steam on streaming platforms.
Wallen released his highly anticipated sophomore record, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” on Friday to widespread streaming success. Many of the tracks jumped up to the top 10 on the U.S. Apple Music top songs chart, and set a first-week country album streaming record on the platform in just its first two days. Rolling Stone reported that just its first three days of streaming earned it 100 million on-demand audio streams, which is higher than any country album has ever done in a full week.
Wallen’s 30-track album also shattered country streaming records on Spotify and Amazon Music. The record is also projected to debut at No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s album sales chart, beating out Taylor Swift’s recurring “Evermore” for the position. Like Rodrigo, the artist also has the favor of high-performing pure sales numbers; the combination of physical and digital copies sit at over 50,000.
Final debut numbers will be available next week, but Wallen’s album is on pace to come in on top with more than 230,000 album-equivalent units. If that pans out, it will put the country star’s opening week figure higher than anyone’s of late except for Swift’s.
For comparison, the only other album to come in with a big debut since Christmas was Playboi Carti’s “Whole Lotta Red,” which bowed at No. 1 with 94,000 album units. Some of the biggest debuts late last year included BTS with 217,000, AC/DC with 125,000 and Bad Bunny with 109,000. As recent album debuts go, if Wallen really does come in north of 230K, his “Dangerous” will only fall short of “Evermore,” which debuted atop the Rolling Stone album chart with 315,000 album units.