The Weeknd rules over the Billboard 200 this week with his new album After Hours, which is a massive success from the get-go. The set moved 444,000 equivalent units in its first frame in the U.S. alone, which is enough to not only make it No. 1 in the country, but also one of the biggest titles of the year.
That 444,000 figure includes 275,000 actual purchases and 163,000 streaming equivalent units, which are comprised of 220.7 million streams of the songs featured on the set. That’s a huge figure for any album, and now the Canadian musician has made history with his latest.
According to Billboard, After Hours now holds the record for the largest streaming week among all R&B albums. Apparently, no other title based in that genre has ever racked up 200 million plays in a single tracking frame, and The Weeknd’s new project grabs that record from…his last release.
The Weeknd’s 2016 album Starboy blasted onto the Billboard 200 at No. 1 thanks to strong sales and 175.2 million plays on sites like Spotify and Apple Music. For several years now that has held as the biggest one-week stream count among R&B albums, but the bar has been raised once more by the man who has proved himself to be the most successful act in the genre time and time again.
That 444,000 sum is also enough to give After Hours the largest single-frame sum for any R&B album pushed by a male act since Billboard began reporting numbers that include streaming equivalent units as well as pure sales. The set earns the most impressive debut for a title made up primarily of R&B music since Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which ruled the ranking with just over 650,000 equivalent units back in 2016.
After Hours may rack up another huge streaming week when this frame closes, as fans are sure to continue listening to his latest collection, as well as the three new tracks he added to the title after its first tracking period ended.