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STYLES IS IN STYLE
Columbia’s Solo Star Debuts at #1

That’s right. Harry Styles—the debut, eponymous effort from the former One Direction member, which opened to rave reviews—has topped the HITS Sales Plus Streaming (SPS) Chart with a snazzy 240k.

For those keeping score, RCA’s ZAYN—the first of 1D to go solo—also celebrated a #1 chart bow, but with a number significantly below that of Styles. Mind of Mine topped the chart in April of 2016, earning 156k.

Remember: Niall Horan and Liam Payne have only released singles at this point. Horan’s September breakout, “This Town,” is platinum, and follow-up “Slow Hands,” which dropped via Capitol earlier this month, is selling steadily and now sits in the Top 25 of a Chris Cornell-saturated iTunes chart. Republic’s Payne dropped his debut single, “Strip That Down” f/Quavo, this week; at press time, it was #1 at iTunes. Louis Tomlinson is the only one that hasn’t announced a label deal or put out any proper solo material yet. His collaboration with Steve Aoki, “Just Hold On,” came out rather quietly at the end of 2016 through Aoki’s label home, Ultra.

The rollout for this week’s triumphant, rock-tinged tour-de-force was clearly effective. To recap, Styles guested on Saturday Night Live, before kicking off the Today Show’s Summer Concert Series and stopping by Corden for a four-night residency, which of course included a new edition of Carpool Karaoke. Styles also served up an Apple Music documentary, Harry Styles: Behind the Album, as well as tickets to a world tour (that sold out immediately) around the release of the album.

But there’s more going on in the world than 1D-related news. We know it’s hard to believe, but we swear it’s true.

Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home (Southern Ground/Atlantic) bows at #2 on the SPS chart this week with 152k. That makes it the second biggest country debut of the year, behind only Chris Stapleton.

As for other noteworthy debuts, Machine Gun Kelly’s bloom (Interscope) lands at #8 with 49k and Paramore’s After Laughter (Atlantic) appears at #5 with 66k, while Seether’s Poison and the Parish (Canine Riot) and New Kids on the Block’s Thankful (Kobalt) come in at #14 and #17 with 31k and 29k, respectively.

Following the untimely death of Chris Cornell on the night of 5/17, fans flocked to retailers and streaming services to pay tribute to a fallen icon. Soundgarden’s Superunknown (A&M) re-enters the Album Sales Chart at #21. The band’s Badmotorfinger (A&M) also re-enters, at #47. Audioslave’s Audioslave (Epic/Interscope) comes in just above the latter at #46.

When it comes to SPS marketshare, UMG leads with 46%. WMG and SME both have 26% marketshare, and the indies have 2%.

Streeting this week are albums from Big Machine’s Rascal Flatts and Warner Bros.Linkin Park.

In political news, the President reportedly referred to his former FBI director as "a nut job," shortly before appointing a sock puppet  to head the EPA.

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