International charts analysis: Ariana Grande makes global impact with Sweetener

International charts analysis: Ariana Grande makes global impact with Sweetener

Featuring guest appearance from Pharrell Williams, Nicki Minaj and Missy Elliott, Ariana Grande’s fourth album, Sweetener, dropped on Friday (August 17) and immediately cut a swathe through iTunes rankings, reaching No.1 in 82 of the 96 countries in which it registered.

Minaj’s appearance on the album (on the track The Light Is Coming) repays the debt she owes to Grande for collaborating on Bed, the most successful single thus far lifted from Minaj’s fourth album Queen – which was itself No.1 on iTunes in 44 countries last week but remains at the summit in just six, toppled from the rest by Grande.

Minaj’s album has now completed a week at retail, securing official chart debuts at No.5 in Ireland and the UK, No.8 in the Netherlands, New Zealand and Wallonia, No.9 in Norway, No.11 in Flanders, No.15 in Sweden and No.18 in Germany.   

Meanwhile, after debuting at No.1 in Flanders, Italy, New Zealand and Norway and Sweden, No.2 in Ireland, The Netherlands and Wallonia, No.3 in the UK and No.4 in Germany last week, rapper Travis Scott’s third album, Astroworld, adds debuts at No.1 in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia and the USA, No.2 in Finland, France and Switzerland, No.4 in Austria and No.32 in Hungary. Of the countries in which it was No.1 last week, it remains at the summit only in Norway.

Scott’s chart-topping debuts in Canada and the USA end the five-week reign of Drake’s Scorpion, which ebbs 1-2 in both countries. Scorpion also falls 1-2 in Denmark, leaving it without a No.1 for the first time in its career. It is still adding new territories, though – with debuts this week at No.14 in both Croatia and South Africa. It also re-enters at No.72 in one of its least successful territories, Spain, where it previously reached No.40.  

The Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again soundtrack remains at No.1 in the UK and Ireland for the fourth week in a row, while migrating 2-1 in New Zealand, making a somewhat belated debut atop the chart in Finland, and slipping 1-3 in Australia.

After widespread gains last week, George Ezra’s second album, Staying At Tamara’s is largely becalmed, but is still on the rise in Ireland (5-4), the UK (5-4), Austria (53-29) and Switzerland (48-42), while re-entering the Wallonian chart at No.127. In Ireland, Ezra’s latest single Shotgun is No.1 for the eighth week in a row, with Drake’s In My Feelings as its runner-up for the fifth straight week.

Finally, while Ed Sheeran’s ÷ teeters on the brink of leaving the Top 10 in the UK – where it holds at No.10, having been in residence for 76 consecutive weeks, more than any other album in the 2010s – it has major resurgences in Croatia (20-1) and Austria (10-2). The Croatian leap is hard to explain, but Sheeran completed two sell-out tour dates at Austrian capital Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium within the latest chart survey period. It was the third straight week in which the album climbed in Austria, and its highest position for 30 weeks.

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