Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” could have the biggest opening week of the year

Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” is expected to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (beating Bad Bunny’s seven-week stint with “Un Verano Sin Ti”), marking one of the biggest opening weeks of the year. Should it top the charts, “Renaissance” will be the first album recorded by a woman to hit number 1 in 2022.

The 16-track album was released on July 29, and according to data from Luminate via Billboard, it has earned over 275,000 album unit equivalents in the US in its first four days (ending August 1). Much of that total comes from album sales, which total an estimated 175,000 — the rest of the total comes from streaming-generated activity. Despite this, Renaissance has three more days in the week ending August 4th to collect additional units.

Much of the album’s initial sales can be attributed to direct sales of the album to consumers. Beyoncé’s official website/storefront sells deluxe t-shirt and CD combo set editions of “Renaissance” — which many have snagged as collectibles at the BeyHive. In addition to selling deluxe box sets, Beyoncé has already sold over 25,000 copies on vinyl – the singer’s biggest sales week for a vinyl album of all time.

On the first day of release, “Renaissance” amassed over 50.6 million official on-demand streams in the US, and on the second and third days of release, the tracks racked up 30.9 million and 21.7 million hits, respectively. Not only would “Renaissance” have its biggest opening week of the year, it would also become the first release in 2022 by a woman to top the albums chart. Adele pulled off the feat in 2021 with the highly anticipated 30, also released under Columbia Records.

In contrast, “Renaissance” juxtaposes three more albums that have entered for equal album units with bigger debut weeks in 2022 (though tracking week isn’t over yet). “Renaissance” rivals Harry Styles’ “Harry’s House” which sold 521,000 units; BTS “Proof,” which racked up 314,000 units, and Kendrick Lamar’s “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” with 295,000.

Renaissance is Beyoncé’s first solo studio album since the release of Lemonade in 2016. Although none were full studio solo albums, she has released four projects in between: In 2018, she released Everything Is Love with her husband Jay -Z under the name The Carters; in April 2019, she released Homecoming, an album that spans her 2018 headlining performance at Coachella; and that summer was followed by The Lion King: The Gift, the Disney film’s companion album, which featured a variety of new Beyoncé songs (a deluxe edition of this album with three additional tracks was released a year later). Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” could have the biggest opening week of the year

Charles Jones

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