Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo Climbs To Top Of Billboard Charts

Kanye West has made history with The Life Of Pablo reaching number one on the Billboard charts, mainly thanks to downloads of the album from streaming sites. He is the first artist ever to have over half of his units made up by album streams, smashing the previous record held by Rihanna.

Billboard reported that “the majority (70 percent, in fact) of its units were generated by streaming equivalent albums (SEA).” That means there were 99 million downloads in the US during the first week it was added to streaming services. Imagine what the numbers would be like if the rest of the world were included in the count.

But West’s album was released in February. Why has it taken so long to reach the charts?

Billboard explains:

“The Life of Pablo was initially released on Feb. 13 via Tidal’s streaming service, and briefly as a commercial download via West’s official website. The set’s sales and its streams through Tidal were not reported to Nielsen Music, whose data powers the Billboard 200 chart, and it was thus unable to chart.”

It was previously uttered that the album would never be released for purchase and would live exclusively on Jay Z‘s Tidal forever. It was impossible to tell if it would even make the charts, let alone smash the competition. However, last week it was announced that the album was finally uploaded to Spotify. 

Seems like it was a good move.

The Life Of Pablo is still yet to be released physically, hence why most of the units were made up by digital downloads. West rejoiced in the wake of his achievement the only way he knows how; by sharing it with his Twitter followers:

Just under a third of the numbers that made up the record for Rihanna’s ANTI were due to SEA. However, Justin Bieber‘s Purpose still holds the record for the most overall streams in its first week which had more than 100 million streams. It should be noted that whilst The Life Of Pablo‘s stats are monumental, it is not the first album to be a digital-only release at the top of the charts. Before it, we have had Kendrick Lamar‘s untitled, unmastered.Drake‘s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Bad Gal Ri Ri’s aforementioned ANTI and the Queen herself, Beyoncé‘s game changing self titled release back in 2013.

At the end of last month, the first single from the album Famous was announced. You know, that song with that lyric about Taylor Swift. We’re expecting to hear that one at the upcoming tour that he said he was preparing for.

Let’s hope Australia is on his list.

Image: Billboard