With his third outing, Khalid earns his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums charts with his Free Spirit studio album. With the project dropping on April 5th by way of RCA Records, it earned 202,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 11th. 85,000 of those units were attributed to traditional album sales, and it all amounts to the fourth-largest week of 2019 for any album so far, and the largest week for any male solo act.
Khalid’s figure is only superseded by Ariana Grade’s debut thank u, next week of 360,000 units, Billie Eilish’s notch of 313,000 for When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, and Backstreet Boys’ DNA, which earned 234,000 units in its opening week. Such company only further nods toward Khalid’s official crossover as alt-R&B wunderkind to bonafide Pop star.
Even so, Free Spirit is the first R&B album to hit No. 1 in one year. The last time any artist did so was when The Weekend’s My Dear Melancholy EP bowed at No. 1 on April 14th of last year. Prior to that the last time an R&B album accomplished the feat, Bryson Tiller’s True To Selfopened at No. 1 in June of 2017.
At No. 2, Billie Eilish’s Asleep takes a 62% decrease in its second week, earning 118,000 units in its second week while Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap remains in the Top 10 of the chart with 63,000 units at No. 3. On Thursday (April 11th) the Crenshaw rapper was memorialized at Los Angeles’ Staples Center after being gunned down two weeks ago in front of his Marathon clothing store.