LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B star Beyonce stormed to the top of the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart with her surprise visual concept album “Lemonade,” while late singer Prince’s music dominated the chart as fans continued to remember his legacy through his music.
“Lemonade,” the sixth solo album by Beyonce, sold 485,000 albums, more than 900,000 songs and was streamed 115 million times, totaling 653,000 units according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
Beyonce debuted “Lemonade” as an hour-long film made up of music videos on cable network HBO last week, and initially made it available exclusively on premium streaming service Tidal, before releasing it to other online retailers.
The album garnered headlines for lyrics that suggested Beyonce’s husband, rapper Jay Z, may have had an extramarital affair. The songs transition from suspicion and anger to hurt and finally forgiveness and reconciliation.
The album also contains the single “Formation,” a power anthem to race and feminism.
Five of Prince’s albums stayed in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart this week, led by 2001’s compilation “The Very Best of Prince” at No. 2 with 391,000 units sold.
Sales of Prince’s music, which he kept off numerous streaming platforms such as Spotify and YouTube, have soared after the singer’s sudden death on April 22 at his Minnesota estate.
On Billboard’s Digital Songs chart, which measures online song sales, Prince’s “Purple Rain” led seven of the late singer’s songs in the top ten of the chart with 282,000 copies sold.
Beyonce’s “Formation” came in at No. 3 and “Hold Up” came in at No. 9.
Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Marguerita Choy