LOS ANGELES: Jay-Z's new confessional and political release, "4:44," finally entered the Billboard 200 album chart, storming to the top spot and scoring his 14th No. 1 release.
The rapper and producer sold 262,000 units of "4:44," according to data from Nielsen SoundScan on Monday, to earn the fourth-highest one-week album sales total of 2017.
The album, on which Jay-Z admits cheating on his wife Beyonce and addresses the birth last month of their twins, was released on June 30 as a one-week exclusive to members of his streaming platform Tidal and customers of wireless carrier Sprint Corp.
Despite being certified platinum in its first week, "4:44" was absent from last week's Billboard 200 album chart because Tidal did not report numbers to Nielsen Music.
The Billboard 200 album chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).
Jay-Z already holds the record as the most successful solo artist on the Billboard 200 chart. His 14 albums debuting at No. 1 beats tallies by Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand, Billboard said.
However, despite the critical praise and publicity for "4:44," Nielsen-reported sales were well below the 2017 debuts of rapper Kendrick Lamar’s "DAMN.", with 603,000 units, Drake’s "More Life" and British singer Ed Sheeran’s "Divide."
In other new entries, rapper 21 Savage's new release "Issa Album" debuted at No. 2 with 76,000 units sold, and Los Angeles girl rock band group Haim saw their second album, "Something To Tell You," land in seventh place in its first week of release.
On the digital songs chart, which measures online single sales, Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi's summer hit "Despacito" featuring Justin Bieber continued its reign at No. 1 with another 124,000 copies sold.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)