Billboard 200 Preview: Sam Smith #1 237/185k, Maroon 5 #2 122/94k, Blake Shelton #4 63/55k


Sam Smith scores his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as The Thrill of It All debuts atop the list.

The set earned 237,000 equivalent album units in the week ending Nov. 9, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 185,000 were in traditional album sales. The album is Smith’s second full-length studio effort, and was released on Nov. 3 through Capitol Records. It follows his debut studio set, In the Lonely Hour, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the July 5, 2014-dated chart.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Nov. 25-dated chart (where The Thrill of It All debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites on Tuesday (Nov. 14).

Smith claims his best sales week ever with the arrival of The Thrill of It All – 185,000 copies sold. That trumps his previous best week, when In the Lonely Hour debuted with 166,000. (In the Lonely Hour has sold a total of 2.4 million copies.)

The Thrill of It All’s starting unit sum of 237,000 is the seventh largest bow for an album in 2017, and the third biggest for a pop album. Among pop album debuts this year, it trails only Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) (451,000 units on the March 25-dated chart) and P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma (408,000; Nov. 4). The largest debut of the year among all genres belongs to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN., with 603,000 units (May 6). Following Lamar: Drake’s More Life (505,000; April 8), Sheeran, P!nk, JAY-Z’s 4:44 (262,000; July 29), Logic’s Everybody (247,000; May 27) and Smith.

Smith’s album was led by the single “Too Good at Goodbyes,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking his fifth top 10 song on the tally.

At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Maroon 5 collects its sixth top 10 album, as Red Pill Blues debuts at No. 2. The set earned 122,000 equivalent album units, of which 94,000 were in traditional album sales. The band’s last album launched at No. 1 in 2014, starting with 164,000 copies sold (before the chart transitioned to a units-ranked list later that year).

The debut sales frames of both Maroon 5’s album as well as Sam Smith’s The Thrill of It All were aided by concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotions in association with the acts’ respective upcoming tours.

Chris Brown’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon holds steady at No. 3, with 73,000 units (up 7 percent). The album debuted a week ago with 68,000 units, but with only three full tracking days of activity, following its release on Tuesday, Oct. 31. In its second chart week, the album’s sales and TEA units are down (20,000 sold; down 22 percent, and 3,000 TEA units; down 11 percent), but its SEA units gained (50,000; up 28 percent).

Blake Shelton arrives at No. 4 with his latest album, Texoma Shore, starting with 63,000 units (55,000 in traditional album sales). It’s Shelton’s 11th top 10 album, stretching back to 2003’s The Dreamer, which debuted and peaked at No. 8.

This year marks Shelton’s eighth consecutive year where he’s debuted at least one new album on the chart. Before Texoma Shore, he hit the chart with If I’m Honest (No. 3, 2016), Reloaded: 20 #1 Hits (No. 5, 2015), Bringing Back the Sunshine (No. 1, 2014), Based on a True Story (No. 3, 2013), Cheers, It’s Christmas (No. 8, 2012), Red River Blue (No. 1, 2011) and a trio of titles in 2010: Loaded: The Best of Blake Shelton (which peaked at No. 11 in 2011), All About Tonight (No. 6, 2010), and Hillbilly Bone (No. 3, 2010).

Back on the new Billboard 200, 21 Savage, Offset and Metro Boomin’s Without Warning slips one rung to No. 5 in its second week (56,000 units; up 4 percent). Its gain is owed to streaming activity, and how the set only had three days of tracking on the previous week’s chart – as, like Brown’s Heartbreak album, Without Warning was also released on Oct. 31. While Without Warning takes a dive in traditional album sales (4,000; down 64 percent) and TEA units (2,000; down 11 percent), it rallies in SEA units (50,000; up 25 percent).

Kenny Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation falls from No. 1 to No. 6 in its second week, earning 52,000 units (down 76 percent). It also falls 76 percent in traditional album sales (sliding to 51,000 sold).

Kelsea Ballerini gets her first top 10 album, as her second studio effort, Unapologetically, debuts at No. 7 (44,000 units, 35,000 in traditional album sales). It follows her first album, the appropriately titled The First Time, which debuted and peaked at No. 31 in 2015.

Ballerini is only the fourth female country act to reach the top 10 in 2017. She follows: Shania Twain (Now, No. 1, Oct. 21-dated chart), Alison Krauss (Windy City, No. 9, March 11) and Reba McEntire (Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, No. 4, Feb. 25).

Kid Rock nabs his ninth top 10 album with the No. 8 debut of Sweet Southern Sugar (43,000 units; 41,000 in traditional album sales). It follows Kid Rock’s 2015 effort First Kiss, which launched with 146,000 units (137,000 in traditional album sales).

Rounding out the top 10: Post Malone’s Stoney (5-9 with 40,000 units; down 3 percent) and Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) (8-10 with 36,000 units; up 14 percent).

// Who's Online (Guests Fix)