Stray Kids’ ROCK-STAR debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated Nov. 25), scoring the Korean pop ensemble its fourth chart-topper. The set launches with 224,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 16, according to Luminate, largely powered by traditional album sales.
The act — who is performing on the 2023 Billboard Music Awards Nov. 19, and is a finalist in two categories — previously opened at No. 1 with 5-STAR (earlier in 2023), MAXIDENT and ODDINARY (both in 2022).
Also in the top 10 of the new Billboard 200, the latest releases from Chris Stapleton and Chris Brown debut.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Nov. 25, 2023-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Nov. 21. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.
Of ROCK-STAR’s 224,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Nov. 16, album sales comprise 213,000 (with 98% of that sum driven by CD sales and 2% via digital downloads), SEA units comprise 11,000 (equaling 15.68 million on-demand official streams of the set’s eight tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum.
ROCK-STAR was issued in 11 collectible CD editions, all with the same tracklist but alternative packaging, with different merchandise (some randomized) contained inside. Among the variants were retail-exclusives sold through Barnes & Noble, Target and Walmart. ROCK-STAR was also available to purchase across four different digital download editions: a standard version and three alternative cover versions (with the latter titles sold exclusively in the act’s webstore).
All four of Stray Kids’ chart entries have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making them the first act to see their first four chart entries debut at No. 1 since Alicia Keys in 2001-07. She bowed at No. 1 with Songs in A Minor (2001), The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003), the live set Unplugged (2005) and As I Am (2007). Honorable mention (and looking at groups) goes to One Direction, who debuted at No. 1 with its first chart entry, the studio album Up All Night in 2012. Later that year, in October 2012, the iTunes Store-exclusive six-song live set iTunes Festival: London 2012 debuted and peaked at No. 140. And then the act logged three No. 1s in a row with Take Me Home in December 2012, Midnight Memories in December 2013 and Four in December 2014.)
Stray Kids logged its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 on the April 2, 2022-dated chart, with ODDINARY debuting atop the list. They followed it with MAXIDENT (Oct. 22, 2022), 5-STAR (June 17, 2023) and now ROCK-STAR.
With nearly 20 months separating Stray Kids’ four No. 1 albums, the act has the fastest accumulation of four No. 1s since Taylor Swift notched four leaders in just under 16 months with Folklore, Evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) between August of 2020 and November of 2021.
As the ROCK-STAR album is mostly in the Korean language, it is the 22nd mostly non-English language album to hit No. 1, and the sixth of 2023. The other five are Bad Bunny’s Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, NewJeans’ 2nd EP ‘Get Up,’ Stray Kids’ 5-STAR, Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito and TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s The Name Chapter: Temptation.
Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) falls to No. 2 with 159,000 equivalent album units earned (down 35%) after spending its first two weeks at No. 1.
Chris Stapleton notches his fifth consecutive top three-charting album – the entirety of his charting efforts – as Higher bows at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 with 90,500 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 57,000 (boosted by its availability across six vinyl variants), SEA units comprise 32,000 (equaling 41.54 million official on-demand streams of the set’s songs) and TEA units comprise 1,500.
Drake’s former No. 1 For All the Dogs falls 3-4 on the new Billboard 200 with 72,000 equivalent album units earned (down 11%). The album should see a gain on next week’s chart, dated Dec. 2, following the release of a deluxe edition of the album on Nov. 17 which added six additional songs. The new iteration is dubbed For All the Dogs: Scary Hours Edition. (All versions of For All the Dogs are combined for tracking and charting purposes.)
Morgan Wallen’s chart-toping One Thing at a Time dips 4-5 on the Billboard 200 with 68,000 equivalent album units earned (up 4%). Jung Kook’s Golden falls 2-6 in its second week with 56,000 units (down 73%). Taylor Swift’s former leader Midnights rises 9-7 with nearly 52,000 (up 19%), while Bad Bunny’s chart-topping Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana falls 5-8 with 49,000 (down 19%).
Chris Brown earns his 12th top 10-charting album on the Billboard 200 as his latest studio effort 11:11 debuts at No. 9 with just over 45,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, SEA units comprise 38,000 (equaling 50.97 million official on-demand streams of the set’s songs), album sales comprise 6,000 and TEA units comprise 1,000.
Rounding out the new top 10 is Zach Bryan’s self-titled chart-topper, which dips 8-10 with 45,000 equivalent album units earned (up 1%).
Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes a thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious or unverifiable is removed, using established criteria, before final chart calculations are made and published.