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Beyonce Releases Chart Topper

By: Leon Chen

For her last two solo albums, Beyoncé turned the music business on its head by rewriting the standard marketing playbook. “Beyoncé” (2013) came without warning and had a music video for every song; for “Lemonade” (2016), she teamed with HBO for an hourlong film. Each went straight to No. 1 and became an instant pop-culture moment.

For her latest, “Renaissance,” Beyoncé, now 40, took a more conventional route, sending a single to radio stations weeks ahead of time and taking advance orders for CDs and vinyl (though she released no music videos). The album leaked online two days early — the kind of breach that once upon a time could have sunk a new release.

But “Renaissance” opens at No. 1 on the Billboard chart with the equivalent of 332,000 sales in the United States, slightly beating early predictions and notching the second-highest debut of the year.

Beyoncé also dominates the Hot 100 this week, as “Break My Soul” rises five spots to No. 1, becoming her first song to top Billboard’s flagship singles chart since “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” in late 2008 and early 2009.

The success of “Renaissance,” her seventh solo studio LP — every one of them, beginning with “Dangerously in Love” (2003), has gone to No. 1 — affirms Beyoncé’s status as a chart-topping megastar.

The news of Beyoncé’s triumph on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week (dated Aug. 13) with her seventh official solo LP Renaissance came with a somewhat startling realization: It’s the first album released by a female artist to top the Billboard 200 since Adele’s 30, which reigned on the listing from the chart dated Dec. 4, 2021 to Jan. 8, 2022.


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