Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album Is The Third Album Ever To Spend Its First 10 Weeks At #1
Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album was always going to be a commercial juggernaut. It’s a 30-song colossus from a hyped-up young superstar, and it was specifically built to become the first true country blockbuster of the streaming era. Wallen released the album in early January, when other big stars were not putting out music. But then, after the album had been out for a few weeks, TMZ posted a video of Wallen drunkenly yelling a racial slur outside his home in Nashville. Radio pulled Wallen’s songs. His label announced that his contract was “suspended.” Wallen apologized, then apologized again. Some of us worried that this whole episode might only help Wallen’s career in some corners. I don’t think anyone fully anticipated quite how much it would boost Wallen.
As of this week, as Billboard reports, Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album is only the third album in history to spend its first 10 weeks at #1 on the album chart. Only two albums have debuted at #1 and lasted that long in the position: Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life, from 1976, and Whitney Houston’s Whitney, from 1987. Both of those albums came out during a time when albums almost never debuted at #1. Songs In The Key Of Life was only the third album ever to debut at #1, and Whitney was the fifth.
Since Billboard started using SoundScan to electronically tally album sales in 1991, it’s been a lot easier for albums to debut at #1, and it’s been a lot harder for them to stay there. Dangerous is the first album to spend 10 consecutive weeks at #1 since Adele’s 21 pulled it off in 2012. Wallen is coasting on streams, and he hasn’t faced any stiff competition yet, but it’s pretty clear that the man kept much of his audience even after running around yelling racist shit. That’s fucked up!
This past Friday, Justin Bieber released his new album Justice. That album has been projected to debut at #1 next week, which would finally end Wallen’s run. That means I’m now in the unfamiliar position of rooting for Justin Bieber to do well on the charts. Fuck him up, Justin.