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. 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 26, 2021-dated chart (where Hall of Fame debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on June 22. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.Of Hall of Fame’s 143,000 equivalent album units earned in the tracking week ending June 17, SEA units comprise 124,000 (equaling 181.9 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks), album sales comprise 18,000 (aided in part by deep discounting of the set at digital retail for a portion of the week) and TEA units comprise a little over 1,000. Polo G previously hit the top 10 with The Goat (No. 2 in 2020) and Die a Legend (No. 6 in 2019). Rap trio Migos debuts at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with Culture III, earning 130,500 equivalent album units. Of that sum, SEA units comprise 106,000 (equaling 144.57 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks), album sales comprise 22,500 and TEA units comprise nearly 2,000.Culture III was initially released on June 11 as a 19-track album, but was bolstered be a deluxe edition release on June 17 that added five extra tracks. Like Polo G’s Hall of Fame, Culture III was also deeply discounted at digital retail for a portion of the tracking week. Culture III and Hall of Fame have the second-and-third-biggest sales weeks (22,500 and 18,000) for hip-hop albums in 2021, trailing only the debut frame of J. Cole’s The Off-Season (37,000; May 29-dated chart).Culture III is Migos’ third album to reach the top two on the Billboard 200, following Culture and Culture II (both No. 1, in 2017 and 2018, respectively).A trio of former No. 1 albums lines up next on the new Billboard 200: Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour falls 2-3 (122,000 equivalent album units earned; down 15%), Lil Durk and Lil Baby’s The Voice of the Heroes dips 1-4 in its second week (73,000 units; down 52%) and Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album descends 3-5 (50,000 units; down less than 1%).K-pop girl group TWICE debuts at No. 6 with Taste of Love, with 46,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 43,000 (making it the top selling album of the week), SEA units comprise 3,000 (equaling 5.09 million on-demand streams of the album’s six tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. Like many K-pop releases, the CD edition of the album was issued in multiple collectible packages (four, including a Target-exclusive edition), each with assorted internal paper goods and randomized elements. Of the album’s 43,000 copies sold, the CD editions combined sold 39,000. The rest of the sales came from the album’s digital download. Taste of Love is the first top 10 for the nine-member act.Bo Burnham’s Inside (The Songs) jumps from No. 116 to No. 7 after its first full tracking week of activity, earning 37,000 equivalent album units (up 330%). Of that sum, SEA units comprise 33,000 (equaling 44.71 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks), album sales comprise 3,000 and TEA units comprise less than 1,000. The album bowed on the list a week ago after one day of activity, as it was released on Thursday (June 10), the final day of that chart’s tracking week. Inside (The Songs) is the companion album to Burnham’s Netflix special Bo Burnham: Inside, which premiered on May 30.Inside (The Songs) is categorized as a comedy album and is the first such album to reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200 since the chart dated Aug. 22, 2015, when Lil Dicky’s Professional Rapper debuted and peaked at No. 7.Maroon 5’s new album Jordi debuts at No. 8, marking the seventh top 10 effort for the group. It bows with 37,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, SEA units comprise 20,000 (equaling 27.64 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks), album sales comprise 15,000 and TEA units comprise 2,000. All seven of Maroon 5’s full-length studio albums have reached the top 10, stretching back to the act’s debut, Songs About Jane, which peaked at No. 6 in 2004.Rounding out the new top 10 are two former No. 1s: Moneybagg Yo’s A Gangsta’s Pain, which falls 6-9 with 34,000 equivalent album units earned (down 11%), and J. Cole’s The Off-Season, slipping 4-10 with just under 34,000 units (down 22%).
R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: Nao, Stunna Gambino, Yebba & More
“Been in the darkness for a while, we’ll see the rays shining down,” Nao sings with psychedelic vocals as she marvels at the beauty of life. Her spacey new song “And Then Life Was Beautiful” is the title track of the English singer’s upcoming album of the same name, scheduled to release Sept. 24.Stunna Gambino,…
“Been in the darkness for a while, we’ll see the rays shining down,” Nao sings with psychedelic vocals as she marvels at the beauty of life. Her spacey new song “And Then Life Was Beautiful” is the title track of the English singer’s upcoming album of the same name, scheduled to release Sept. 24.Stunna Gambino, “ZAZA”Hailing from Washington Heights, 19-year-old rapper Stunna Gambino delivers “ZAZA,” a track that follows his noteworthy feature on The Kid LAROI’s “Not Sober.” Declaring himself as “the neighborhood hero,” Gambino talks his s–t, proving his worthiness to take the city’s top spot.Yebba, “Louie Bag” feat. SminoSoulful songstress Yebba has finally released a track that she says has been three years in the making. With her untouchable vocal skills, the 26-year-old gospel-rooted singer pensively narrates the period following her mother’s tragic suicide. A punchy verse from Smino balances out the Arkansas native’s smooth melodies, the duo forming a musical yin and yang.Maxo Kream, “Local Joker” With his signature, molasses-thick flow, Maxo Kream returns with “Local Joker,” a laid-back single from his upcoming album, a follow-up to Brandon Banks. With lo-fi elements and bright, trap drums, the track is a feel-good alternative to Kream’s straight-forward trap sounds, allowing the Houston-bred rapper to reminisce on how far he’s come from being a local joker.Projexx feat. Toian, “UndaPresha” “Me know you wan fi love me,” Projexx confidently declares in the opening line of his upbeat single, “UndaPresha.” The rising Jamaican artist rides around in Miami alongside singer Toian, their chemistry both heard and seen in the track’s summer-fresh visual.Amaria feat. Mick Jenkins, “Got Me Like”Amaria’s mesmerizing vocals lure you into a universe where love is both exciting and comfortable in her reverent new track with Mick Jenkins. “Would you love me if nobody knows?” she monologues over churchy organ flourishes.Liv.e, “_21”“_21” leads the tracklist on Liv.e’s dynamic new EP CWTTY+ and introduces a palette of airy, layered vocals, lively percussion and breezy guitar. “Wish I could know what’s going on in your head, I’ma always be in love with you,” the Dallas-raised artist sings.Michi, “Talk Big” With raspy vocals and a slinking bassline, Michi demands that self-centered people check their attitudes at the door in “Talk Big,” her first release this year. “Been through too much bs by the hand of men with egos bigger than their you know what,” she wrote about the track on Instagram. “This song was a release for me to comment on that.”Anaiis feat. Topaz Jones, “Chuu” Inspired by the visuals of Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, Anaiis releases a captivating visual to accompany her single, “Chuu.” The multilingual songstress twists and turns, moving through contrasting scenes while pouring out tales of self-discovery and love atop angelic harmonies and an ethereal instrumental.Bri Steves feat. Guapdad 4000, “GAF” Is there any worse feeling than caring about someone when you don’t want to? “I wish I didn’t give a f*ck about you,” Bri Steves sings on her new track with Guapdad 4000 over flickers of vibey electric guitar. The moody new song is one of nine off Steves’ new EP TBH, which dropped July 30.
7 Can’t-Miss Moments From the 2021 Stellar Gospel Music Awards
A “Crazy” InterpolationPastor Mike Jr., who was named artist of the year, performed two songs: “Big” and “Amazing.” In “Amazing,” he interpolated Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” a No. 2 smash on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016. Pastor Mike Jr. won artist of the year on the strength of his album Big: Freedom Sessions, which also…
A “Crazy” InterpolationPastor Mike Jr., who was named artist of the year, performed two songs: “Big” and “Amazing.” In “Amazing,” he interpolated Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” a No. 2 smash on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016. Pastor Mike Jr. won artist of the year on the strength of his album Big: Freedom Sessions, which also won rap hip hop gospel album of the year. He also won urban/inspirational single or performance of the year for “I Got It.”The Clark Sisters Sing The Clark SistersThe Clark Sisters received the James Cleveland lifetime achievement award. Artists receiving such accolades often watch as other performers sing their greatest hits. But here, the stated message was “There’s only one group that can pay fitting tribute to The Clark Sisters – The Clark Sisters.” The quartet sang parts of four songs: “Is My Living in Vain,” “Blessed & Highly,” “You Brought the Sunshine” and “His Love.” The Clark Sisters were joined by cast members from the biopic The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, which aired on Lifetime in April 2020. One of The Clark Sisters accepted the award by saying “We claim this as our gospel Grammy.” Actually, The Clark Sisters are two-time Grammy winners, though they have yet to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy.Pastor Shirley Says “Get Vaccinated”Pastor Shirley Caesar urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as she received the ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones legends award. “I’ve had both of my shots,” she said, and recalled a recent photo shoot where she asked the photographer if he’d been vaccinated. In recounting the story, she pulled way back when the answer came back no. This was a helpful message that may reach some people who have been hard to reach through more traditional means: Get your shot for Pastor Shirley! (Caesar, an 11-time Grammy winner, received a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2017.)The Queen of Soul & GospelLady Tramaine Hawkins, who hosted or co-hosted three of the first four Stellar Awards shows in the ’80s, received the Aretha Franklin icon award. Avery Sunshine, Tamela Mann and Yolanda Adams performed Hawkins songs in tribute. Franklin, who died in 2018, was referenced a second time in the show: The new Franklin biopic Respect was the subject of a commercial during the two-hour broadcast.It’s Just His YearJonathan McReynolds performed two songs: “Grace” and, with Mali Music, “Movin’ On.” McReynolds won three awards on the night: male vocalist of the year, contemporary male vocalist of the year and producer of the year, all for his album People. McReynolds and Mali Music won a Grammy in March for “Movin’ On,” which was voted best gospel performance/song.And That’s Why They’re the New Artist of the YearMaverick City Music’s “Jireh” was one of the night’s standout performances and helped explain why the group won the awards for new artist of the year and album of the year, both for their album Maverick City Music Vol 3 Part 1.Big Impact in Small DosesThe show spotlighted three emerging artists in 90-second performances in which they stood in an aisle and sang a song fragment. These were among the night’s most impactful performances, perhaps because they were so low-key. There’s a temptation in gospel performances for performers to dial it up to 10 in terms of intensity. That can come across as overwrought, especially on television. That wasn’t a problem with Nia Allen’s “Wait,” Terrian’s “Stayed on Him” or Jokia’s “Yahweh.” Let’s hope that if and when they are granted full performance slots, they remember that quite often, less is more.
Kris Wu Detained by Chinese Police on Suspicion of Rape
Wu has been “criminally detained” on suspicion of rape “in response to relevant information reported on the internet” including that he “repeatedly lured young women to have sexual relations,” the police statement said. It gave no other details.The pop star had previously denied the accusations. “There was no ‘groupie sex’! There was no ‘underage’!” Wu…
Wu has been “criminally detained” on suspicion of rape “in response to relevant information reported on the internet” including that he “repeatedly lured young women to have sexual relations,” the police statement said. It gave no other details.The pop star had previously denied the accusations. “There was no ‘groupie sex’! There was no ‘underage’!” Wu wrote last month on his social media account. “If there were this kind of thing, please everyone relax, I would put myself in jail!”The news was trending as the no. 1 most searched topic on Weibo on Saturday night, and some users online started commenting on Wu’s social media account, telling him to “Get out of China!”Wu is a Canadian citizen, according to the police statement.The official paper of the Communist Party, the People’s Daily, weighed in on the case, saying in a short opinion post online that “Having a foreign nationality is not a protective talisman, and no matter how big the name is, there is no immunity.”The teenager publicized her accusations on social media and later in an interview with the internet portal NetEase. A day after that interview appeared, at least 10 brands including Porsche and Louis Vuitton broke off endorsement and other deals with Wu.According to the interview, she thought she was meeting Wu for a career opportunity. Instead, his staff who was present forced her to drink. As someone who did not go to bars, she said her tolerance was low and she was drunk after two drinks. The next day, she woke up in Wu’s bed. That morning, he was kind to her and promised to take care of her, she said.The teenager said that was the beginning of what she had thought was their relationship. This was the case until March, when he stopped returning her messages.At first, she said she felt sorry for herself. But after she learned that there were other women who had been treated similarly, she said she felt there were others who were worse-off.“I don’t believe this is just my own personal matter. You can even say that this is a problem with the atmosphere in China’s entertainment circle,” she said in the NetEase interview.Wu said that he had met the young woman on Dec. 5, 2020, but “I didn’t force her to drink,” and “there was not this sort of ‘details’ she describes.”“I didn’t expect my silence to encourage these rumors, and I couldn’t stand it!” Wu previously wrote. “There were a lot of people there that day who can bear witness.”The teenager and Wu both said they had asked authorities to investigate.Saturday’s statement didn’t mention that case and gave no information about the status of that investigation.