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Kenrick: Don't call it an album, but it's #1 on the album chart.
THIS CHART STORY
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Latest Sneak Attack From a Major Artist Dominates

Top Dawg Entertainment came through on their promise, after hinting that something crazy special was dropping last week. As it turned out, TDE/Aftermath/Interscope’s Kendrick Lamar revealed a surprise, digital-only project late Thursday night (3/3). The raw, eight-track set—aptly titled untitled, unmastered—has now officially topped the HITS Album Sales Chart, pulling in 135k. On the Sales Plus Streaming (SPS) Chart, it scored 174k.

At #2, XL/Columbia’s Adele continues to do her thing, earning another 48k for 25. And following the heart-wrenching passing of Nashville’s revered singer/songwriter Joey Martin, Joey+Rory’s Hymns (Gaither) jumps to #3 with 38k.

The second highest debut belongs to Def Jam’s 2 Chainz with 35k for another digital-only surprise release, Collegrove, on which he collaborated with Lil Wayne.

Leading up to the 51st annual ACM Awards, Chris Stapleton’s Traveller (Mercury Nashville)—nominated for Album of the Year, with nods in four other categories—continues to hover within the Top 10, spending this week at #6, down a mere 18%. The awards show takes place in Vegas, so we expect to be plastered for at least 72 hours. That being said, no, we weren’t invited.

RCA’s Ray LaMontagne bows at #5 with Ouroboros, and comedy duo Ninja Sex Party appears at #7 with Under the Covers—a self-released set comprised entirely of covers of ’70s and ‘80s songs. Coincidentally, “Ninja Sex Party” is also the name of HITS’ main Wi-Fi network.

As for the remaining Top 15 debuts, Wheelhouse/BBR’s Granger Smith lands at #8, while Legacy’s Loretta Lynn and Columbia’s Newsboys take the #9 and #10 spots, respectively.

Notably, Green Day’s 2004 alt/rock classic, American Idiot (Reprise), re-enters the chart at #17 thanks to a 99-cent sale at Google Play.

In other sale-related news, Future’s EVOL (Epic)—discounted to $7.99 at iTunes—moves #47-33 and Elle King’s Love Stuff (RCA)—$5.99 at iTunes—re-enters at #41.

Streeting this week are albums from Republic’s 3 Doors Down, Island’s Brian Fallon (frontman of Gaslight Anthem) and Columbia/Legacy’s Jeff Buckley. Look for releases from Interscope’s Gwen Stefani and The Voice winner (and Republic signee) Jordan Smith to come the following week.

And in political news, the next GOP debate will take place in Thunderdome.

HITS LIST: SIGNS OF A
WHOLE NEW DEAL
The sounds of a brighter day to come? (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS:
STEVE COOPER
Turnaround specialist becomes a music man. (1/15a)
BIG CHANGES AT RCA: EDGE UPS PITTS TO PREZ, FLECK TO COO; RICCITELLI TO EXIT
Recalibrating for changing tastes. (1/15a)
DANGEROUS TIMES: A CONVERSATION WITH MORGAN WALLEN
As his song says, "Livin' the Dream." (1/14a)
ACADEMY AND DUGAN
DUE TO SETTLE?
A messy divorce nears its resolution. (1/15a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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