Kendrick Lamar-Crafted ‘Black Panther’ Soundtrack Debuts At No. 1

“Black Panther: The Album” captured the throne on Billboard’s 200 chart, debuting with 154,000 equivalent album units (meaning streaming & digital included) earned in the week ending Feb. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 52,000 are in traditional album sales.

The set, which features music from and inspired by the blockbuster Marvel Studios film Black Panther, garners the biggest week for a soundtrack — in terms of total units earned — in a year-and-a-half, reports Billboard. The last soundtrack to score a larger week was “Suicide Squad: The Album,” which bowed atop the Aug. 27, 2016-dated list with 182,000 units earned.

Released on Feb. 9 through Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope Records, “Black Panther: The Album” includes a number of songs by Kendrick Lamar, who curated and produced the hip-hop-heavy album with Top Dawg Entertainment’s founder/CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. The set also includes tracks from The Weeknd, SZA, Khalid and James Blake, among others. The album is the fifth No. 1 for Top Dawg, following a trio of leaders from Lamar (DAMN., untitled unmastered. and To Pimp a Butterfly) and ScHoolboy Q’s “Oxymoron.”

More details of “Black Panther: The Album’s” chart dominance below via Billboard:

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 Feb. 24-dated chart (where “Black Panther: The Album” starts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites on Wednesday (Feb. 21) — one day later than usual, due to the Presidents’ Day holiday in the U.S. on Feb. 19.

“Black Panther” is the second soundtrack to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2018, following The Greatest Showman, which spent two weeks atop the list (dated Jan. 13 and 20).

The 14-track “Black Panther” album’s debut is powered mostly by streams, as the set collected 93,000 streaming equivalent album units. (The remainder of its bow came from traditional album sales: 52,000; and track equivalent album units: 9,000.) It’s not unusual to see such a large streaming number for “Black Panther: The Album,” as hip-hop albums tend to perform well on streaming services.

“Black Panther: The Album’s” 93,000 SEA unit launch equates to 138.9 million on-demand audio streams for the album’s songs in the week ending Feb. 15. That’s the largest streaming week ever for a soundtrack, surging past the 40.4 million on-demand audio streams “The Greatest Showman” collected in the week ending Jan. 25.

Of “Black Panther: The Album’s” 14 songs, three are heard in the “Black Panther” film. According to Top Dawg and Walt Disney Studios (Marvel’s parent company), this is the first time in Marvel Cinematic Universe history that Marvel Studios has integrated multiple original recordings specifically for a film. (The Marvel Cinematic Universe includes 18 films that have been released thus far, stretching back to Iron Man in 2008.)