Drake beats own record with More Life

Drake.
Drake.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Drake just had the biggest week on the Billboard album chart since Drake.

More Life, the new so-called playlist (which is somewhere between a mixtape and an album) from the rapper, has debuted at No. 1, setting a streaming record in the United States with 385 million song plays in its first week, according to Nielsen.

The release earned a total of 505,000 album equivalent units by Billboard's metric, which combines pure sales, track downloads and streams.

Those numbers are the biggest in music since Drake's own Views, which totalled one million units when it debuted last spring, including 245 million streams - a record at the time.

Unlike Views, which was exclusive to Apple Music for its release week, More Life was made available across streaming services on March 18 even as it premiered on Drake's Apple-backed Beats 1 radio show, OVO Sound.

His showing was also strong on Spotify: More Life set the first- week record, previously held by The Weeknd's Starboy, with 190 million streams in the US.

And globally, Drake had the best streaming week ever for an artist's catalogue (461 million streams), beating a recent top mark achieved by Ed Sheeran.

Drake's 22-track playlist, which moved 226,000 all-digital copies in traditional sales, is his seventh consecutive No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. Three of those have come in the past 18 months.

Sheeran's ÷ (or Divide), the chart-topper for the previous two weeks, was bumped to No. 2 with 119,000 units. Rather You Than Me, the latest from Florida rapper Rick Ross, reached No. 3 in its debut week with 106,000 units; followed by the soundtrack for Beauty And The Beast, the current box-office champ, at No. 4; and Depeche Mode's new album, Spirit, at No. 5.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Drake beats own record with More Life'. Print Edition | Subscribe