It may be a polarizing album, but the public is voting with its streams on Drake’s dance-oriented new music, and he seems to be winning listeners over with his change of direction, or at least drawing huge numbers of fans to give it a first listen. His “Honestly, Nevermind” has bowed at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart with an impressive 204,000 album-equivalent units. A single from the album that has 21 Savage as his featured guest, “Jimmy Cooks,” debuted at No 1 on the Hot 100.
The 204,000 first-week number for “Honestly, Nevermind” is huge by the standard of nearly all other debuting albums in 2022. By Drake’s own standard, it’s a comedown; last September, his previous release, “Certified Lover Boy,” premiered with about four times that many units — a whopping 613,000. But considering that Drake dropped this follow-up with no advance single, less than a day’s advance notice and a notably different style — house music, largely — than he’s famous for, “Honestly, Nevermind” has to be counted at least initially as a win for the superstar.
His dominance on the Billboard Hot 100 as well saw “Jimmy Cooks” racing in at No. 1 to become one of three news songs he has entering the top 10, the other two being “Sticky” at No. 6 and “Falling Back” at No. 7. According to Luminate, which supplies Billboard the date for its charts, “Jimmy Cooks” benefitted from a very hefty 42.2 million streams in its first week, along with 3 million radio airplay audience impressions.
There’s a historic one-two punch (or two-four punch) happening for Drake in all of this. Billboard reports that he has become the first male pop solo artist in history to twice have an album and single debut on the top of those respective charts simultaneously. Besides doing it with “Honestly, Nevermind” and “Jimmy Cooks” now, he previously did it last September with “Certified Lover Boy” and its single “Way 2 Sexy.”
On the Billboard 200 chart, Drake has his 11th No. 1 is now only the fifth act to accumulate more than 10 of those. He’s tied with Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen for 11 chart-topping albums, and has only two artists left to beat who have more— Jay-Z with 14, and the Beatles with 19.
The only other album debuting in the top 10 is Kevin Gates’ “Khaza,” at No. 8.
Holdover album artists include Bad Bunny and Harry Styles, keeping their Nos. 2-3 positions from last week. Last week’s No. 1, BTS’ “Proof,” took a 76% units tumble to slip three spots to fourth place. Morgan Wallen (at No. 5), Future (No. 6), Post Malone (No. 7), Kendrick Lamar (No. 8) and Olivia Rodrigo (No. 10).
Speaking of Rodrigo, Billboard says she set a record this week for the debut album that has clocked the most weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard 200. Previously, that mark belonged to Lady Gaga, whose first album spent 51 non-consecutive weeks in the top 10. Now, “Sour” has beaten the record by logging 52 non-consecutive weeks in those upper ranks.
On the Hot 100, Styles was dethroned, with “As It Was” being pushed back to No. 2 after seven weeks on top. That, in turn, pushes the next few songs back one week as well, including Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” Future’s “Wait for U” and Lizzo’s “About Time” getting the nudge to Nos. 3-5.
Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” is not going to make it up the mountain to No. 1 on the Hot 100 after all, at least not without a greater resurgence. After having peaked at No. 4 two weeks ago, the phenomenal catalog smash has now slipped to No. 9. It still stands across the rock and alternative airplay charts, however.
Styles’ “As It Was” tops the Billboard Global 200 chart for an 11th week, which puts it in a tie with the Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s “Stay” for longest run across that international chart. One more week on top and Styles will have the honor all to himself.