Charts analysis: Ariana Grande still dominates singles countdown

Ariana Grande has the No.1 single for the fifth week in a row, with 7 Rings – which ended an earlier three-week reign when toppled by follow-up Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored last week – returning to pole ...

Charts analysis: Ariana Grande secures second week at album summit

Ariana Grande’s third (consecutive) No.1 album, Thank U, Next is the first to spend more than a week at No.1, holding in pole position on its second frame, despite consumption falling 51.84% week-on-week to 31,404 units (including 23,612 from sales-equivalent streams). Helped by the fact it includes the nation’s top two singles for the second week in a row, the album avoids the fate that befell her previous chart-toppers, Dangerous Woman (2016) and Sweetener (2018), which dipped 1-8 and 1-3 respectively on their second frames.  While Grande continues to occupy the top position, the next three albums are all soundtracks: The Greatest Showman (2-2, 15,936 sales), A Star Is Born (6-3, 10,820 sales) by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper and Bohemian Rhapsody (4-4, 9,931 sales) by Queen. The Greatest Showman has now been in the Top 5 for 60 consecutive weeks, 17 of them at No.2. A Star Is Born has spent 20 straight weeks in the chart, with a lowest placing of No.16, and is at its highest position for six weeks. Bohemian Rhapsody has never dropped below No.12 in an 18 week chart run. London urban collective D-Block Europe reached No.14 last July with Any Minute Now, a 10 song 29 minute, collaboration with Yxng Bane. They are out on their own with new 19 track mixtape selection Home Alone, which surpasses that release, and is the highest-ranked of this week’s six debuts, opening at No.6 (6,839 sales).  Avril Lavigne’s sixth studio album (her first in more than five years) Head Above Water restores her to the Top 10 after the No.14 debut/peak (9,139 sales) of her last effort, an eponymous 2013 release. It opens at No.10 (5,766 sales) for the 34-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter, who was just 17 when her first album Let Go debuted at No.50 (4,024 sales) in 2002. It reached No.1 17 weeks later, and remains by far her biggest-seller with to-date consumption of 1,820,483 sales, including a top tally of 121,183 in the week before Christmas in 2002, when it was No.7. 2004 follow-up Under My Skin and 2007 third album The Best Damn Thing both debuted at No.1 on sales of 87,496 and 60,707 respectively, and have to-date sales of 667,206 and 488,879.   The rest of the Top 10: Staying At Tamara’s (7-5, 8,464 sales) by George Ezra, Encore (5-7, 6,513 sales) by The Specials, The Platinum Collection (9-8, 6,171 sales) by Queen and AJ Tracey (3-9, 5,841 sales). Departing from the Top 10: Always In Between (10-12, 4,927 sales) by Jess Glynne and Restless Minds (8-86, 1,345 sales) by Ward Thomas. More than 34 years after her only previous charted studio album – the 1994 No.15 success I Feel For You, which boasted the iconic Prince-penned No.1 single of the same name – Chaka Khan returns with 12th studio album Hello Happiness. Helped by BBC Radio 1, 2 and 6’s patronage of the title track and a Graham Norton Show TV appearance singing Like Sugar, it is a slender selection with seven songs and a playing time of 27 minutes which debuts at No.18 (3,774 sales). It is the 65-year-old’s first album of new material since 2007’s Funk This, which failed to chart and has sold only 7,682 copies to date. Ten years after its initial release, Canadian rapper Drake’s 18-song So Far Gone mixtape – not to be mistaken for a seven song EP of the same title released later that year – is getting an anniversary re-promotion, which makes it available for streaming for the first time. Said delivery platform accounts for all but 422 of the set’s consumption of 3,263 units which earn it a belated No.21 debut, and Drake his ninth album chart entry. Also new to the chart are: Moonglow (No.38, 2,228 sales) the ninth studio album by German heavy metal band Avantasia, and the biggest of their two chart entries thus far; and Mdrn Lv (No.54, 1,854 sales), the second album by Irish band Picture This, whose eponymous 2017 debut peaked at No.157. Both albums have been No.1 in Ireland, with Mdrn L v dethroning Ariana Grande this week.    No.2 on debut last April, J. Cole’s KOD makes its first Top 75 appearance in 38 weeks, re-entering at No.63. 822 of its 1,594 sales come from the newly-released coloured, signed vinyl edition. With 19 sales from the previously released black vinyl edition, KOD tops the vinyl album chart. It is the first urban album to lead that list since De La Soul’s And The Anonymous Nobody in September 2016. In the immediate wake of his first ever UK gigs in Birmingham (February 16), Glasgow (February 17) and Manchester (February 19), Post Malone’s 2016 debut album Stoney jumps 45-26 (2,627 sales), achieving its highest chart placing since it climbed 27-19 the week that follow-up Beerbongs & Bentleys opened at No.1 42 weeks ago. The latter album also scoots 16-13 (4,757 sales) to achieve a 23-week high.   With little more than 24 hours between the end of ITV’s Brit Awards telecast and the end of the sales week, related chart moves were few and muted, with perhaps the most significant being the 41-23 bounce (2,995 sales) of Best British Group The 1975’s Best British Album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, and the 112-47 climb (2,012 sales) of Best British Female Jorja Smith’s debut album, Lost & Found. It is only a three-week high for The 1975 but a 29-week high for Smith.   Now That’s What I Call Music! 101 is No.1 compilation (4,495 sales) for the second week in a row, and the 12th time in 13 weeks. Overall album sales are down 4.09% week-on-week at 1,676,356, 3.44% above same week 2018 sales of 1,620,637. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for 1,143,756 sales, a record 68.23% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are down 10.97% week-on-week at 532,600, 22.29% below same week 2018 sales of 685,393, and their lowest level since Kantar Millward Brown started compiling sales data for OCC in 1994.

Airplay analysis: Sigrid, Tom Walker and Lewis Capaldi all score biggest radio hits to date

Sam Smith & Normani spend their fourth straight week atop the radio airplay chart with Dancing With A Stranger. Its plays are up for the sixth week in a row – albeit by just 0.71% from 7,505 to 7,558 – but its audience dips for the second week in a row, drifting 4.20% from 82.94m to 79.46m. There are new peaks within the Top 10 for Don’t Call Me Up (4-3) by Mabel and Juice (8-5) by Lizzo plus three new entries. The highest of these is Just You And I, the second hit for Tom Walker, which dashes 19-6 with a 67.35% leap in plays from 1,700 to 2,845 fuelling a 61.96% rise in audience from 30.68 to 49.69m. The track was aired 16 times apiece on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2, which provided a combined 56.33% of its audience. Surprisingly, Just You And I has climbed higher than Walker’s debut smash Leave A Light On, which peaked at No.7 last June. Radio has been good to Walker, with Rudimental collaboration Walk Alone and Angels reaching No.18 and No.21 respectively on the radio airplay chart, although the former only reached No.80 on the OCC chart, and the latter failed to make the Top 100. Norwegian singer Sigrid has her highest charting track, as Don’t Feel Like Crying jumps 13-7 to beat the No.12 peak scaled by her debut hit Strangers, while Lewis Capaldi’s current No.3 OCC hit Someone You Loved now explodes 24-9 on the radio airplay chart, although none of his previous releases have breached the Top 50. Sigrid’s leap was due in no small part to Radio 2, where Don’t Feel Like Crying was the most-played song with 18 spins which contributed 53.57% of its audience - more than its other 2,363 monitored plays combined. Someone You Loved also leaned heavily on the station, which increased support of the track from three to 15 plays, providing 45.70% of its overall audience. After four straight weeks at No.3, Calvin Harris & Rag‘N’Bone Man’s Giant dips to No.4 on the radio airplay chart but it climbs 2-1 on the TV airplay chart, with 579 plays, 60 more than any other song. It brings Harris his 11th TV airplay No.1, and Rag‘N’Bone Man his first – his previous highest charting track, Human, reached No.2 in January 2017.  

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