Kendrick Lamar Bests Drake, Earns Biggest 2017 Debut With ‘DAMN.’

By | Posted April 21, 2017
More than 300m streams later, Kendrick has the No. 1 album of 2017 (so far).
2017-04-21-kendrick-lamar-damn-bests-drake
Photo Credit: Instagram

The final first-week sales numbers are in for Kendrick Lamar's newly-released full-length album DAMN. and, well, damn.

According to HDD, the TDE emcee has officially scored the biggest debut of 2017, selling 610k SPS (sales plus streaming) units, of which 362k units are pure sales. The year's previous high water mark belonged to Drake's More Life, which moved 505k SPS units in its first week, of which 230k were pure sales. (In fairness to Drake, More Life was released on a Saturday—which means he had two fewer days in the sales cycle—and was not immediately made available in hard copy.)

In 2016, only two albums moved more first-week SPS units than Kendrick's DAMN.: Drake's VIEWS sold a whopping 1.075m units and Beyoncé's Lemonade sold a not-too-shabby 664K.

DAMN. will be Kendrick's second consecutive No. 1 album on Billboard, following 2015's GRAMMY-winning To Pimp a Butterfly, which debuted to the tune of 324k SPS first-week sales.

In addition to realizing more than 300m streams—roughly 85m short of More Life, which became the first album to ever cross the 300m stream mark in its opening week—Lamar's sales to stream ratio for the DAMN. was, impressively, more than 60%, which means fans didn't just press play on Spotify and Apple Music, they went to the store and purchased hard copies. 

While Drake might still reign supreme when it comes to streaming, Kendrick's massive sales total for the highly-acclaimed DAMN. proves he too is a commercial beast.

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