David Bowie has achieved in death what he couldn’t in life — debut at No. 1 on the Billboard chart.
Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, has made a grand entrance to the Billboard 200 chart, giving the late music legend his first No. 1 album.
Bowie died on Jan. 10 of cancer, two days after the release of the album.
Blackstar, issued through ISO/Columbia Records, earned 181,000 equivalent album units in the US during the week ending Jan. 14, Billboard magazine reports, citing Nielsen Music.
Of that number, 174,000 were in pure album sales — Bowie’s biggest sales week for an album since Nielsen began electronically tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991.
His previous sales high in that span of time came when his last album, 2013’s The Next Day, bowed with 85,000 sold in its first week.
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 and streaming equivalent albums.
The new Jan. 30, 2016-dated chart where Bowie debuts at No. 1 will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Clearly, music fans were moved by the news of Bowie’s death, as not only did Blackstar perform strongly, but he has nine further albums that either re-enter or debut on the Billboard 200 chart.
Among them are two further titles in the top 40: the greatest hits collection Best of Bowie (No. 4) and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (No. 21).
Bowie’s history on the Billboard 200 dates back nearly 44 years when Hunky Dory bowed on the chart dated April 15, 1972.
Blackstar and Best of Bowie bring the artist’s total of top 10-charting albums to nine.
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