LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Canadian rapper Drake shattered records with his new album “Scorpion,” which became the first to score one billion streams in its first week and also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts.
Drake’s record company, Republic Records, said the 31-year-old musician, who was the biggest seller in 2016, was the first artist to reach one billion plus streams globally across all platforms in one week of release. The previous record of almost 700 million streams was set in May by Post Malone’s “beerbongs & Bentleys.”
According to data on Monday from Nielsen Music, the 25-track double album “Scorpion” sold some 731,000 units in the United States for the week, making the soul-baring record the biggest seller of 2018 by far.
The Billboard 200 album chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).
“Scorpion” also gave Drake seven songs in the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles charts, Billboard said on Monday, led by “Nice for What.” That beat a record of five simultaneous songs by The Beatles in 1964 when the British band was at the height of its fame.
“Scorpion” made headlines on its June 29 release because Drake confirmed long-standing rumors that he had fathered a son, but he did not name the mother.
Streaming services in 2017 became the recording industry’s biggest single revenue source, overtaking sales of physical albums and digital downloads. Rap officially surpassed rock in 2017 as the biggest music genre in the United States.
“Scorpion” is a joint release on Warner Bros. and Universal Music-owned labels OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Richard Chang)