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CHART STORY: LUST CONQUERS ALL

Following a heated three-way race to #1, Interscope siren Lana Del Rey comes out on top of the Sales Plus Streaming (SPS) Chart with more than 108k for Lust for Life, which was propelled by strong online consumer purchasing.

[Editor’s Note: Why, yes, we did in fact giggle while writing the phrase, “heated three-way.”]

Odd Future/Columbia’s Tyler, The Creator—another beneficiary of powerful online consumer purchasing—debuts at #2 with an impressive 104k for Flower Boy, which puts him right on Lana’s heels.

However, at press time, challenges regarding the final numbers are coming from both sides.

Atlantic’s Meek Mill, on the other hand, ruffled some feathers when Wins & Losses, which bows at #3 with nearly 87k, was put up in front of Tidal’s paywall. Counting these streams, as Billboard apparently plans to do, would represent a reckless and absurd acceptance of blatant chart manipulation. Remember: These free streams generate no revenue and thus equate to free goods, making them ineligible for chart inclusion. Also, the presence of the album in front of the paywall opens the way for unlimited use of bots to drive up streaming totals, unencumbered by accounts or logins. Knowing that—and since these streams were not provided to our chart partner, BuzzAngle Music—we are not counting them.

Then there’s Disney’s new Descendants 2 soundtrack, which rounds out the Top 5 with 50k. All is certainly right in the land of Ken Bunt (aka King of Soundtracks, and Best Friend of Mickey Mouse). The Moana set (#16 this week) is already around 1.3m RTD. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has about 400k SPS domestically, while Beauty and the Beast nears the 500k mark.

As for the remaining noteworthy debuts, Romeo SantosGolden (Sony Music Latin) enters the chart at #10 with north of 39k, while Nav & Metro Boomin’s Perfect Timing (XO/ Boominati/Republic) comes in at #15 with around 30k.

Five Linkin Park albums appear in this week’s Top 50, as fans continue to mourn the loss of frontman Chester Bennington. The Warner Bros. band’s One More Light—released this May—leaps #30-6, while 2003’s Meteora (#7), 2000’s Hybrid Theory (#9), 2007’s Minutes to Midnight (#14) and 2012’s Living Things (#43) all re-enter.

When it comes to SPS marketshare, UMG leads with 40%, SME is #2 with 30% and WMG is #3 with 29%, while the indies trail with 1%.

Streeting this week are albums from Columbia’s Arcade Fire and Cultco/Hollywood’s Joywave, along with the first live album from RCA’s Cage the Elephant.

Speaking of RCA, Kesha’s Rainbow—her first studio album in five years—is not far off. The much-talked-about set, which houses powerful lead single “Praying,” is due 8/11 (via Kemosabe) and could hit six figures, based on very early indicators.

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