Morgan Wallen Tops Billboard 200 Albums Chart Again, Sales and Streaming Surge Amid Controversy
Sales and streams of Morgan Wallen's new Dangerous: The Double Album surged amid controversy over his use of a racist slur, which was caught on video. His album is No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart for a fourth straight week since its release in January.
The last country album to spend its first four weeks at No. 1 on this chart was Shania Twain's Up! in 2003. Per Billboard, Garth Brooks' Double Live album is the most recent from a male artist to top the Billboard 200 for four straight weeks, doing so in 1998 and early 1999.
While no new major albums dropped on Friday (Feb. 5), Wallen's No. 1 ranking is not due to lack of competition. Sales and streaming numbers had dipped week to week for the first three weeks, but, overall, streaming equivalent albums jumped from 130,000 to 149,000, with the biggest percentage jump coming in pure sales.
In week three, albums sales made up just 12,000 of Wallen's total SEA numbers, but that number shot to 25,000 this week. Streaming numbers held steady, despite many streaming sites pulling his songs from formulated playlists. Wallen's record label, Big Loud Records, announced that they've suspended his contract, but did not pull any of his music.
WATCH: 5 Burning Questions About What Morgan Wallen Said
This week-to-week report from Billboard verifies what many had suspected as they watched daily surges of Wallen's streaming and sales numbers: The incident led to increased awareness of Wallen and his music, which amounts to publicity. But fans also rallied around him, or at the very least sought to stream and purchase his album in a time it seemed threatened.
Wallen hasn't said anything about the incident aside from his initial apology to TMZ, which broke the story on Tuesday night (Feb. 2).
Dangerous: The Double Album includes the No. 1 hit "More Than My Hometown" and "7 Summers," a pop-friendly song that had been Wallen's radio single until it was nearly universally pulled from air by major radio groups. According to multiple reports and analysis by Taste of Country, radio airplay of any songs from his catalog are very light — a stunning turn for the man who had the No. 1 most-played song of both 2019 and 2020.
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