Ariana Grande’s Positions had an easy path to Number One on the latest Rolling Stone Top 200 Albums chart. With more 27,000 sales and 157 million streams, Grande earned almost three times as many album-equivalent units as the Number Two album, Trippie Redd’s Pegasus. Pegasus, a sprawling set encompassing 32 songs, debuted in the runner-up spot thanks almost entirely to 71.2 million streams.
While Grande took Number One without breaking a sweat, the race for Number Two was close: Redd barely squeezed by Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, a former Number One that has been in the Top Ten constantly for over four months. Pop Smoke actually out-streamed Redd, but Redd enjoyed an edge in album sales opening week.
Two other albums also debuted in the latest Top Ten. Veteran rapper Busta Rhymes arrived at Number Seven with more than 14,000 sales and over 20 million streams on his Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God album. Extinction Level Event 2, which comes more than two decades after the rapper released E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front, includes features from Kendrick Lamar, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige. The English crooner Sam Smith was close behind Busta Rhymes at Number Eight with Love Goes, which amassed 8,600 sales and nearly 27 million streams.
Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon
The Rolling Stone 200 Albums chart tracks the most popular releases of the week in the United States. Entries are ranked by album units, a number that combines digital and physical album sales, digital song sales, and audio streams using a custom weighting system. The chart does not include passive listening such as terrestrial radio or digital radio. The Rolling Stone 200 Albums chart is updated daily, and each week Rolling Stone finalizes and publishes an official version of the chart, covering the seven-day period ending with the previous Thursday.
Two other new albums just missed the Top Ten. The R&B singer Queen Naija arrived at Number 12 with Missunderstood, which featured contributions from Lucky Daye, Kiana Lede, and Jacquees. The album amassed 28.4 million streams. The rapper King Von posthumously debuted at Number 15 with Welcome to O’Block, which earned 31.7 million streams. Tragically, King Von was shot and killed in Atlanta last week.
In the wake of Halloween, Christmas music is already impacting the RS 200. Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas is already hovering outside of the Top 40, racking up 4,500 sales and 5.7 million streams last week.