Album poised for 2017’s biggest bow as first-week forecast grows to more than 530,000 units.Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. album just keeps on getting bigger. With the tracking week nearly over (it ends at the close of business on April 20), industry prognosticators have updated their forecast for the set’s first week. It could now launch at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart with between 530,000 to 550,000 equivalent album units — the biggest week of 2017 for an album. The current largest week of the year is owned by Drake’s More Life, which debuted with 505,000 units earned in the week ending March 23, according to Nielsen Music.
DAMN.’s latest first-week forecast is an upgrade from April 19, when its estimate stood at 500,000. (And that number itself grew from two days earlier, when the album was aiming for a start of 475,000.)
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the new May 6-dated Billboard 200 chart (where DAMN. will likely debut at No. 1) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s website on Sunday, April 23.
DAMN. is also on course to score Lamar both a career-high sales week, and the year’s biggest sales frame for an album. The set could start with 330,000 in traditional album sales, which would surpass the year’s current biggest stanza: when Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) launched with 322,000 copies sold in the week ending March 9, according to Nielsen Music. DAMN. will likely also yield Lamar’s best sales frame, beating the start of his 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly (324,000 copies sold in the week ending March 22, 2015).
DAMN. was released April 14 through Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope Records. If the album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, it will give Lamar his third leader. He previously led the chart with his last two albums: 2016’s Untitled Unmastered.and 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly.
Following Lamar, watch for John Mayer to log the chart’s next highest entry, as his new The Search for Everything album may launch with over 110,000 equivalent album units. It will likely debut in the top five, granting Mayer his ninth top 10 effort.