Taylor Swift Beats Gunna on the Chart. Her Next Rival? Billie Eilish.

Taylor Swift Beats Gunna on the Chart. Her Next Rival? Billie Eilish.

Taylor Swift stays at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart for a fourth time, simply holding off a brand new launch by the Atlanta rapper Gunna. But subsequent week she could face a problem from Billie Eilish — and its end result might come right down to followers’ appetites for purchasing a number of “variations” of the celebs’ albums.

“The Tortured Poets Department,” Swift’s newest studio album, holds atop the Billboard 200 with the equal of 260,000 gross sales within the United States, together with 282 million streams and 41,000 copies offered as an entire package deal, in response to Luminate, an information monitoring service. Since its record-breaking opening final month, “Tortured Poets” has racked up about 3.6 million equal album gross sales.

Gunna’s “One of Wun,” launched solely in digital type — although Gunna’s web site additionally offered CDs and vinyl LPs that it stated could be despatched to followers later this yr — begins at No. 2 with the equal of 91,000 gross sales, most from its 119 million streams.

On Friday, Eilish launched “Hit Me Hard and Soft,” her third LP, and the primary since she received two Oscars and added two extra Grammys to the seven she already had. The music business is watching the album’s progress intently, partly to see if Eilish’s newest can finish Swift’s dominance on the chart.

Most of the 31 tracks on “Tortured Poets” have begun to trickle down the each day charts of the foremost streaming providers, whereas Eilish’s new songs — there are solely 10 — have opened robust. For subsequent week’s chart, the important thing differentiator could also be each ladies’s releases of a number of variations of their albums, on rainbows of vinyl or in digital editions with additional goodies to goose followers’ curiosity.

Swift made “Tortured Poets” obtainable in 4 variants throughout bodily codecs, every with an additional monitor; these have been additionally offered in particular editions from Swift’s web site with autographs and collectibles like magnets and engraved bookmarks. Eilish, who has complained about artists’ extreme advertising of bodily media — saying in a latest Billboard interview that it was “wasteful” to launch “40 totally different vinyl packages which have a special distinctive factor simply to get you to maintain shopping for extra” — put “Hit Me” out in eight coloured vinyl variants, in addition to different codecs like a CD embellished with paint “splattered by Billie.” (Eilish defended her launch plans by selling an “eco-friendly” method to manufacturing, saying her releases would use recycled supplies.)

This technique can push an album up the chart and add significantly to its gross sales take. But it has additionally led to complaints on-line, with every artist’s fan military accusing the opposite of gaming the system. That got here to a head final week when, on the day that “Hit Me” was launched, Swift put out three digital-only editions of her album that included “first-draft cellphone memo” tracks — whereas Eilish launched a digital version of her album that added remoted vocal tracks for every music.

Next week’s chart will reveal whose followers purchased probably the most items.

Also this week, Morgan Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” holds at No. 3, whereas Wallen’s 2021 hit “Dangerous: The Double Album” climbs two spots to No. 5. Wallen is on a stadium tour, and likewise benefited from the latest launch of “I Had Some Help,” his hit monitor with Post Malone.

“We Don’t Trust You,” a joint album by Future and Metro Boomin — which comprises “Like That,” a key monitor within the latest Kendrick Lamar-Drake beef battle — holds at No. 4.


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