SZA’s ‘SOS’ Has Most Weeks at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Among Albums by Women in Seven Years

SZA’s SOS claims a ninth nonconsecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Feb. 25) — the most weeks atop the list for an album by a woman in nearly seven years. The last set by a female artist to spend at least nine weeks at No. 1 was Adele’s 25, which ruled for 10 nonconsecutive weeks between Dec. 12, 2015, and March 12, 2016.

SOS earned 93,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 16 (down 7%), according to Luminate.

Also in the top 10 of the new Billboard 200: Paramore’s This Is Why debuts at No. 2 — the highest charting alternative album in eight months, while Rihanna’s former No. 1 Anti returns to the top 10 for the first time since 2016, following her halftime show performance at the Super Bowl on Feb. 12.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Feb. 25, 2023-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Wednesday (Feb. 22), one day later than usual, owed to Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday (Feb. 20) in the U.S. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of SOS’ 93,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Feb. 16, SEA units comprise 92,000 (down 7%, equaling 126.73 million on-demand official streams of the set’s tracks), album sales comprise 500 (down 1%) and TEA units comprise 500 (up 2%).

In the last 10 years, only three albums by women have spent at least nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200: SOS, Adele’s 25 (10 in 2015-16) and Taylor Swift’s 1989 (11, 2014-15).

The last R&B/hip-hop album with at least eight weeks atop the list was Drake’s Views, which 13 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 (May 21-Oct. 8, 2016). SOS has the most weeks at No. 1 for an R&B/hip-hop album by a woman, or an R&B album by a woman, since Mariah Carey’s self-titled debut spent 11 weeks, all consecutively, at No. 1 in 1991. (Honorable mention to the Whitney Houston-led soundtrack to The Bodyguard, which logged 20 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 in 1992-93. The 12-track album has six songs by Houston and six songs by other artists.) SOS has the most weeks at No. 1 for an R&B album by any act since Usher’s Confessions ruled for nine nonconsecutive weeks in 2004. (R&B/hip-hop and R&B albums are defined as those that have hit or are eligible for Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top R&B Albums charts, respectively.)

Paramore scores its highest-charting album in nearly a decade, as This Is Why debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. It’s also the highest-charting alternative album in almost a year. This Is Why is the band’s first album since After Laughter was released in May 2017; it debuted and peaked at No. 6. The group’s last album to go higher was its self-titled 2013 release, which debuted at No. 1 on the April 27, 2013-dated list.

This Is Why begins with 64,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 47,000, SEA units comprise 17,000 (equaling 21.3 million on-demand official streams of the set’s songs) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. The album was ushered in by the album’s title track, which became the act’s first No. 1 on the Alternative Airplay chart (in February) after 11 previous entries going back to 2007.

This Is Why is the highest-charting alternative album on the Billboard 200 since Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Unlimited Love debuted at No. 1 on the April 16, 2022-dated chart. (Alternative albums are defined as those that have hit or are eligible for Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums chart.)

Swift’s former No. 1 Midnights falls 2-3 on the Billboard 200 with 60,000 equivalent album units earned (down 3%).

Morgan Wallen’s chart-topping Dangerous: The Double Album is a non-mover at No. 4 with 44,000 equivalent album units earned (down 4%). Dangerous has now accumulated 107 nonconsecutive weeks in the top 10 on the Billboard 200. It now solely has the third-most weeks in the top 10 among all albums since the chart began publishing on a regular, weekly basis in March of 1956, surpassing the 106 weeks tallied by the soundtrack to the film West Side Story. Dangerous continues to have the most weeks in the top 10 for an album by a single artist. The all-time top 10 record-holder is the original cast recording of My Fair Lady, with 173 weeks in the top 10 between 1956-60. See list, below.

Albums With Most Weeks in Top 10 on Billboard 200 Chart (March 24, 1956-onwards)

Weeks in Top 10, Artist, Title, Year First Reached Top 10

173, Original Cast, My Fair Lady, 1956
109, Soundtrack, The Sound of Music, 1965
107, Morgan Wallen, Dangerous: The Double Album, 2021
106, Soundtrack, West Side Story, 1962
105, Original Cast, The Sound of Music, 1960
90, Soundtrack, South Pacific, 1958
87, Original Cast, Camelot, 1961
87, Soundtrack, Oklahoma!, 1956
85, Peter, Paul and Mary, Peter Paul and Mary, 1962
84, Adele, 21, 2011
84, Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A., 1984
(through the Feb. 25, 2023-dated chart)

Bad Bunny’s chart-topping Un Verano Sin Ti rises 7-5 with nearly 44,000 equivalent album units (down 4%); Metro Boomin’s former leader Heroes & Villains falls 5-6 with 43,000 units (down 5%); and Drake and 21 Savage’s former No. 1 Her Loss climbs 8-7 with 40,000 (down 7%).

Rihanna’s chart-topping Anti roars back into the top 10 for the first time since its release year, 2016, as the set vaults 50-8 with 36,000 equivalent album units earned (up 166%). The album, Rihanna’s most recent studio effort, surges back up the list following Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show performance on Feb. 12, where her setlist included the album’s hit single “Work.” (She also wove in elements of the album’s “Pose” and “Kiss It Better” into the performances of “All of the Lights” and “Rude Boy,” respectively.)

Anti was released a little over seven years ago, on Jan. 28, 2016, and spent two nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 (Feb. 20 and April 2, 2016-dated charts). It was last in the top 10 on the Oct. 16, 2016 chart (No. 9) and last at No. 8 or higher on the Sept. 24, 2016-dated list (when it was also at No. 8).

Anti is Rihanna’s longest-charting album on the Billboard 200, with 355 weeks on the list. That also marks the most weeks ever on the chart for an R&B/hip-hop album by a woman or R&B album by a woman.

Closing out the top 10 of the new Billboard 200 are a pair of former No. 1s: Harry Styles’ Harry’s House is stationary at No. 9 with 33,000 equivalent album units earned (down 13%) and TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION falls 3-10 with 32,000 units (down 33%).

Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes a thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious or unverifiable is removed, using established criteria, before final chart calculations are made and published.

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