Columbia's breakthrough Rag’n’Bone Man has had a smashing first-week for his debut album, Human, which, after selling 117k combined copies, has become the fastest-selling male debut album of the decade.
Physical made up 67% of sales, with downloads and streaming generating the rest. Human outsold the rest of the Top 10 combined, and had a bigger opening week than Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith managed with their respective debuts. The achievement is especially poignant after a rather slow year for the U.K. market, and gives new Columbia U.K. President Ferdy Unger-Hamilton, aka FUH, a smashing start to his tenure at Sony.
Only three debut acts have sold more in week one in Blighty since 2010: One Direction’s Up All Night (139k, Syco), Rebecca Ferguson’s Heaven (128k, Syco) and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ self-titled set (123k, Sour Mash). All were released in 2011.
Human also claims the fastest-selling album of the past 12 months, since David Bowie’s Blackstar, and enjoys the most explosive start for a BRITs Critics’ Choice Award winner to date, surpassing the opening week sales of previous recipients, including Adele.
Further down the Official Albums Chart, last week’s #1, Elbow Little Fictions (Polydor), is #2 followed by two new entries: Rip It Up (Ear Music) by Thunder at #3 and the surprise debut release from XL-signed rapper Nines, One Foot Out at #4. The La La Land soundtrack (Polydor) closes the Top 5. After sweeping the Grammys, Adele’s 25 (XL) jumps three places to #6.
Over on the Official Singles Chart, Ed Sheeran is still #1 with “Shape of You” (Atlantic) selling 36.5k downloads and garnering 8m streams this week. Bolstered by the debut album success and TV performances, Rag’n’Bone Man’s “Human” returns to its peak position of #2.
Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” moves down to #3, Jax Jones f/Raye’s “You Don’t Know Me” (Polydor) is at #4 and ZAYN/Taylor Swift’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” (RCA) rises four places to #5 following the release of the film it was created for, Fifty Shades Darker.
Katy Perry debuts at #7 with “Chained to the Rhythm” f/Skip Marley (Virgin EMI) after a host of Spotify support, while new Warner Bros. act Dua Lipa reaches a peak of #9 with “Be the One.”
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