Future Becomes First Artist To Debut Two #1 Albums In Consecutive Weeks
Future is the first act in the nearly 61-year history of the chart to achieve back-to-back No. 1 debuts in successive weeks. The rapper is also the first artist to succeed himself at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 at all (counting not only debuts) since 1968. He’s additionally the first soloist ever to claim the honor.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new March 18-dated chart will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, March 7.
HNDRXX bows with 121,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending March 2, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 48,000 were in traditional album sales, 63,000 were in SEA and 11,000 were in TEA. (All units are rounded to the nearest thousand.) HNDRXX was released on Feb. 24 through A-1/Freebandz/Epic Records. It follows Future’s self-titled No. 1 debut, which was issued on the same imprints/label, on Feb. 17. The self-titled album slips from No. 1 to No. 2 on the latest chart with 64,000 units (down 54 percent).
With Future’s HNDRXX at No. 1 and his self-titled release at No. 2, the rapper is the first act in nearly one year to have both the Nos. 1 and 2 albums simultaneously. The last act to do so was Prince, following his death last year, when, on the May 7-dated chart, he re-entered the list at No. 1 with The Very Best Of Prince and at No. 2 with the Purple Rain soundtrack. Before that, Nelly was the last act to manage the achievement, way back on Oct. 2, 2004, when he debuted at Nos. 1 and 2 with Suit and Sweat, respectively.
Only nine acts, including Future, have been Nos. 1 and 2 at the same time since 1963, when Billboard combined the Billboard 200 from previously separate mono and stereo album charts into one overall list.
It’s unusual that an artist would release two studio albums in such quick succession. In the past, acts have chosen to release two albums at the same time (for example, Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and II and Nelly’s Sweat and Suit) or within less than a year of one another (Justin Timberlake’s chart topping albums The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience 2 Of 2).
Future is the first act to replace himself at No. 1 since 1968, when Simon & Garfunkel did it (twice!) with Bookends and the soundtrack to The Graduate. (Neither album debuted at No. 1.) In total, since 1963, Future is just the sixth act — and first soloist — to supplant itself at No. 1, following Simon & Garfunkel, the Monkees, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, the Beatles, and Peter, Paul & Mary.
HNDRXX is Future’s fifth No. 1 album. It follows his self-titled set, Evol (2016), What A Time To Be Alive (with Drake) and DS2 (both in 2015).
A version of this article originally appeared on Billboard.