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Two Albums Surpass 300,000 Weekly Units for First Time in Eight Years, Thanks to Taylor Swift & Billie Eilish

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For the first time in eight years, two albums earned over 300,000 equivalent album units in a single week in the U.S., according to Luminate. On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated June 1), Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department holds atop the list for a fifth straight and total week with 378,000 units earned in the week ending May 23 (up 45%) and Billie Eilish’s new Hit Me Hard and Soft debuts at No. 2 with a career-best 339,000 units.

The last time two albums each cleared 300,000 units in a week was on the chart dated May 21, 2016, when Drake’s Views debuted at No. 1 with 1.039 million units, while Beyoncé’s Lemonade fell 1-2 in its second week with 321,000 units.

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 June 1, 2024-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on May 29, one day later than usual, owed to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. on May 27. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

Since the Billboard 200 began ranking albums by equivalent album units, starting with the Dec. 13, 2014-dated list, there have only been five instances in which at least two albums have exceeded 300,000 units each in a single week. (Before that date, the chart was ranked by weekly traditional album sales.)

Here are the other three times at least two albums surpassed 300,000 units in a single week, with Swift also involved in the first such pairing:

On the May 14, 2016-dated chart, Beyoncé’s Lemonade bowed at No. 1 with 653,000 units, while Prince’s The Very Best of Prince fell 1-2 with 391,000 (after re-entering the list the week before, following his death).

The Dec. 5, 2015, chart saw a one-two punch of superstar debuts, when Justin Bieber’s Purpose started at No. 1 with 649,000 and One Direction’s final studio album, Made in the A.M., entered at No. 2 with 459,000.

On the Dec. 27, 2014, chart, J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive launched at No. 1 with 375,000 units, while  Swift’s 1989 slipped 1-2 with 324,000.

Keith Caulfield
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