Jay-Z extends record for solo artist with most No. 1 US albums

Jay-Z at Mack Sennett Studios on July 13, 2017.
Jay-Z at Mack Sennett Studios on July 13, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Rap mogul Jay-Z on Sunday (July 16) extended his record as the solo artist with the most number-one US albums, after a one-week delay when his Tidal streaming service declined to release data.

4:44 debuted at the top of the Billboard album sales chart for the week through Thursday, replacing rapper DJ Khaled's Grateful and marking Jay-Z's 14th number one, tracking service Nielsen Music said.

Jay-Z expanded his lead as the solo artist with the most number-one albums since the chart's creation in its current form in 1956. Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand are tied in second place at 11.

Among all artists, Jay-Z trails only The Beatles who have 19 number-one albums in the United States.

Unusually for such a high-profile release, 4:44 entered the chart only on its second week after Jay-Z released it on CD, Apple's iTunes and rival streaming services - with the exception of Spotify. It sold 262,000 units.

Jay-Z released the album on June 30 as an exclusive on his Tidal streaming service, which is partly owned by telecom operator Sprint.

Tidal, which has been trying to close Spotify's sizable lead as the biggest streaming service, did not release data for its first week.

Tidal, which is privately held by entrepreneurs led by Jay-Z, has been guarded about releasing its streaming figures publicly.

Sprint also gave away free downloads of 4:44, which would be ineligible for the chart under Nielsen Music's criteria.

The album, Jay-Z's first in four years, won favourable reviews and marked growing introspection from the 47-year-old rapper.

Jay-Z on the album apologises to his wife, pop superstar Beyonce, for infidelity, references their newborn twins and supports his mother as she comes out as lesbian.