The R&B singer and songwriter SZA has edged out Taylor Swift to hold at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart for a fourth time, attaining a notable victory during what is usually the post-holiday sales doldrums.
“SOS,” the long-awaited second LP by SZA, who was born Solána Rowe in St. Louis and raised in suburban New Jersey, had the equivalent of 125,000 sales in the United States last week. That total included 162 million streams and about 3,000 copies sold as a complete package, according to the tracking service Luminate.
It is the first time an album by a woman has held at No. 1 four consecutive times since Adele’s “30,” which reigned for six weeks at the end of 2021, Billboard reported. (Swift’s “Midnights” notched five No. 1’s over a six-week stretch last fall.) “SOS” is also the first R&B title by a woman to rack up four weeks at the top since Alicia Keys’s “As I Am” (2007).
“SOS,” a steady streaming hit that features guest spots by Travis Scott, Phoebe Bridgers and other artists, faced stiff competition last week from “Midnights.” Both SZA and Swift released special digital versions of their albums to lure fans. SZA sold two versions, containing extra tracks, while Swift’s website sold four editions, featuring variant artwork and bonus commentary cuts, for one day only.
Swift’s promotion helped “Midnights” move the equivalent of 117,000 sales, up 10 percent from the week before, including 58,000 copies sold as a complete package. “Midnights” holds at No. 2 for a fifth week in a row.
Also this week, a number of recent hits crawl back up the chart as holiday albums disappear like so many Christmas trees hauled to the curb. “Heroes & Villains” by the rap producer Metro Boomin rises one spot to No. 3, Drake and 21 Savage’s “Her Loss” is No. 4 and Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti” is in fifth place.
Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album,” which dipped below the Top 10 for two weeks at the end of the year, jumps back five spots to No. 6. Since its release two years ago, “Dangerous” has notched a total of 101 weeks in the Top 10, dropping out only three times during the holiday-albums crushes in 2021 and 2022.