Zach Bryan Earns First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart – Billboard
Written by GRB on 04/09/2023
Zach Bryan lands his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart as his new self-titled set bows atop the tally (dated Sept. 9). The 16-song country-rock effort, his fourth full-length studio album, launches with 200,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Aug. 31, according to Luminate — the largest week for any rock album in four years. It’s also the first rock effort to hit No. 1 in more than a year. The set’s opening frame is largely powered by streaming activity — and the album boasts the biggest streaming week ever for a rock album.
Beyond Bryan’s rock achievements, his self-titled set also marks the third country title to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 2023, and garners the fifth-largest debut streaming week for a country album.
Country and rock albums are defined as those that are eligible for, or have charted on, Billboard’s Top Country Albums and Top Rock Albums charts, respectively. Bryan is among a handful of recent acts that have placed a genre-blending album on both the Top Country Albums and Top Rock Albums charts. Others include Jelly Roll, HARDY, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and Koe Wetzel.
Bryan’s first No. 1 comes after sustained momentum on the Billboard 200 in the last year-plus from his previous studio effort, American Heartbreak. It debuted and peaked at No. 5 in June 2022 and spawned the top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit “Something in the Orange.” Heartbreak has yet to depart the weekly top 40 of the Billboard 200 in its 67 consecutive weeks on the list (it climbs 16-14 on the new tally).
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Sept. 9, 2023-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on Sept. 6 — one day later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 4, in the U.S. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of Zach Bryan’s 200,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 31, SEA units comprise 181,000 (equaling 233.09 million on-demand official streams of the set’s 16 songs — the largest streaming week ever for a rock set, and the fifth-largest streaming debut week for a country album), album sales comprise 17,000 (it was only available to purchase as a digital download, as its CD and vinyl LP are due out on Oct. 13) and TEA units comprise 2,000.
As noted above, Zach Bryan is the first rock album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in more than a year. The last to do so was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Unlimited Love, which spent one week at No. 1 — its debut frame — on the list dated April 16, 2022. Zach Bryan also logs the largest week, by equivalent album units earned, for a rock album in four years, since Tool’s Fear Inoculum launched at No. 1 on the Sept. 19, 2019, chart with 270,000 units.
A little over a year ago, Bryan earned his first Billboard 200 chart entry with his third studio album — and major label debut — American Heartbreak, debuting and peaking at No. 5 on the June 4, 2022-dated list. The album has generated 2.6 billion on-demand official streams for its songs in the U.S. and has been a consistent streaming star since its debut. The set has been among the week’s top 20 most-streamed albums, by on-demand streams, in all but three weeks since its debut.
The Heartbreak single “Something in the Orange” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, reached the top three on the all-genre Streaming Songs chart, and hit No. 10 on the all-genre, multi-metric Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Following Heartbreak, Bryan placed five more titles on the list, including his new self-titled effort.
Four former No. 1s trail Bryan on the new Billboard 200. Travis Scott’s Utopia falls to No. 2 (91,000 equivalent album units earned; down 44%) after spending its first four chart weeks at No. 1. Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time dips 2-3 (83,000; down 8%), Taylor Swift’s Midnights rises 5-4 (49,000; down 8%) and SZA’s SOS vaults 11-5 (48,000; up 15% after increased sales and streams generated by its current single “Snooze,” including the release of its official music video and new remixes).
The Barbie soundtrack falls 4-6 (48,000 equivalent album units earned; down 14%) and Peso Pluma’s Génesis climbs 9-7 (43,000; down 3%). Swift has two more former leaders in the top 10, as Lover in a non-mover at No. 8 (43,000; down 8%) and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) dips 7-9 (41,000; down 14%). Rounding out the top 10 is Wallen’s chart-topping Dangerous: The Double Album, holding steady at No. 10 with 40,000 units (down 5%).
Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes a thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious or unverifiable is removed, using established criteria, before final chart calculations are made and published.