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POP'S STREAMING
QUEEN RETURNS

By Michael Dominguez

With the announcement of AG6 arriving this month from Republic's Ariana Grande, pop's queen of streaming will return with her first project since thank u, next, which broke streaming records when it bowed in February 2019. 

Ari still holds the record for first-week streams on a female artist's album, with thank u, next earning 307m. Taylor Swift's folklore nabbed the next-biggest streaming bow by a female artist's set, garnering 290m streams in its opening frame. 

thank u, next was anchored by two smash lead singles: the title track and "7 rings." The latter broke streaming records at the time with 85m first-week streams, the most ever for a debut, male or female. It was only recently up-ended by Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" (88m).

As for total first-week song activity, only "WAP" (667k) has more units than "7 rings" (510k). 

"7 rings" also maintains the biggest global debut on Spotify for a female artist with 8.5m streams. Before that single's astronomical run, "thank u, next" smashed streaming records upon release as well. 

thank u, next ended its first week moving 360k units. The total is particularly impressive considering that there was no tour bundle attached to the album. Also, Ari had just dropped Sweetener six months prior. At the time, Sweetener's first-week streaming total was the biggest ever for a female artist (126m). thank u, next more than doubled it with 307m. 

What does this mean for Grande's upcoming sixth studio album? She's yet to release a lead single. Perhaps she's going the Swift route and dropping the full project? Whatever she decides to do, you can count on the streams to keep growing. 

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