U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Score Best Week of 2020, Thanks to Walmart Sale

U.S. vinyl album sales vaulted to their best week of the year, thanks largely to sale pricing and promotion at Walmart. In the week ending Nov. 19, vinyl album sales increased 55.5% to 943,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. That also marks the third-largest week for vinyl since 1991, when Nielsen Music/MRC Data began electronically tracking music sales.

Sales of vinyl albums at mass merchant stores (which include the Walmart chain) comprised 315,000 of the week’s total. On Nov. 14, Walmart discounted all vinyl albums in-store to $15 — including Walmart-exclusive variants (like colored vinyl).

The last time overall U.S. vinyl album sales were higher was in the week ending Dec. 26, 2019, when volume hit 1.24 million sold — the largest week for vinyl album sales in the Nielsen Music/MRC Data era.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of Walmart’s promotion are Queen’s Greatest Hits (23,000 vinyl LPs sold, industry-wide, up 1,006%), Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (16,000; up 369%) and Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend (15,000; up 639%).

The increase in vinyl sales helped Queen’s Greatest Hits, first released in 1981, reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart for the first time, Rumours rose 23-12 and Marley’s Legend jumped 79-19.

It’s expected that vinyl sales will continue to post some sizable numbers through the rest of 2020. Target launched its own discount promotion on vinyl on Nov. 22 (pricing vinyl as low as $20, along with a buy-two, get-one free offer) while Record Store Day Black Friday festivities at independent records stores on Nov. 27 will offer up exclusive and hard-to-find albums only at indie retailers. After that, the usual holiday shopping season rush is sure to keep vinyl sales sturdy through Christmas.

Megan Thee Stallion Denies Stealing Designs for Fashion Nova Collection

Four-time Grammy-nominated rapper Megan Thee Stallion is defending her debut Fashion Nova collection after a designer accused her of stealing her work.

A designer named Aazhia came forward on Instagram last week claiming the 25-year-old rapper had used her unique TLZ L’Femme dress design to create the Chase the Bag Shoulder Pad Mini Dress with a similar long cloth draping in between the legs. “IMA BREAK THIS DOWN REAL SIMPLE! MY DRESS WAS STOLEN AND USED IN THIS MEGAN X FN COLLAB! WAS I TOLD? NO! WAS I COMPENSATED? NO!” she wrote in the lengthy caption, which alleged the rapper’s team reached out to Aazhia to pull one of her dresses for an event Megan was attending. “I’M VERY MUCH SO TAKEN BACK BY THE THE LACK OF RESPECT FOR ANOTHER BLACK WOMAN! THERE IS THIS TIRED NARRATIVE THAT THE BLAVK WOMAN IS SO DISRESPECTED, BUT WE DO IT TO EACH OTHER!!!!”

The “Savage” rapper, who has been actively chanting a “protect Black women” rallying cry since her shooting incident with Tory Lanez in July, cleared the air during an interview with The Morning Hustle on Tuesday.

“A lot of times, people say that they talked to somebody from my team. I don’t know what year that was, I don’t know who… what are you talking about? And a lot of times, they won’t even bring me… they don’t tell me who they talking to,” Meg said in the interview. “If I’ve probably never heard of you, like I’ve never seen that dress before. But it’s been a dress that has been done a lot, like over the years. So I feel bad that people’s initial reaction would be to just come at me like, ‘Oh, you a Black woman! You’re stealing from Black women!’ And I’m like, ‘Damn, hold on, sis, ’cause like I don’t know you.'”

While denying the allegations, Megan explained how she would’ve made amends with the designer, whom she left unnamed during the interview.

“It’s a way to come at people. ‘Cause if it would’ve been a real misunderstanding, I would’ve never had a problem saying, ‘I’m sorry, sis.’ I would have checked my stylist. Like you don’t do that. That’s not right,” Megan continued. “And then I would’ve had the dress taken down, whatever the money made from the dress, I would’ve gave the money to the girl if that was really something that she felt like was stolen from her.”

The “Body” rapper’s Fashion Nova collection dropped exactly one week ago, with 106 denim pieces, dresses, bodysuits, outerwear and more ranging from $24.99 to $199.99. It reportedly brought in $1.2 million within the first 24 hours, according to TMZwho broke the news last Friday — the same day Meg’s highly anticipated debut album Good News dropped.

Aazhia responded to Megan’s interview the same day in an IGTV video. “I’m vexed because it’s condescending, it’s disrespectful, it’s hypocritical. Everything that she said was addressed towards me, although we were talking about multiple Insta boutiques,” she claimed. “My dress is from the ’90s. And she also said, in her opinion, it’s not stolen…. But for me, all I saw was more disrespect.”

Watch Megan’s interview in full below.

Why Get Just One Shawn Mendes Netflix Movie This Week When You Could Have Two?

Couldn’t get enough of Shawn Mendes after watching his In Wonder documentary? You’re in luck, because the star unveiled a whole concert film on Wednesday (Nov. 25).

Netflix’s Shawn Mendes: Live in Concert features the full, sold-out show from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. “Wanted to give you guys something as a thank you for all of the love on the doc,” the singer tweeted to announce the news.

The concert, which took place on Sept. 6, 2019, features Mendes’ fan-favorite songs including “Lost in Japan,” “In My Blood,” “Stitches,” “Treat You Better” and “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back,” among others — plus special guest Camila Cabello for a performance of their duets “Señorita” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

The treat comes just two days after the release of In Wonder, which follows Mendes on his nine-month world tour and the subsequent making of his upcoming album, Wonder.

 

LiSA Returns to No. 1, NMB48 Debuts at No. 2 on Japan Hot 100

LiSA’s “Homura” returns to No. 1 on the latest Billboard Japan Hot 100, dated Nov. 16 to 22, extending the anime hitmaker’s reign at the top of the tally to five inconsecutive weeks.

“Homura” dominates four metrics of the chart’s methodology, leading downloads, streaming, video views and karaoke this week. The track also continues to perform well in radio airplay (No. 9), physical sales (No. 6), look-ups (No. 2), and Twitter mentions (No. 11).

NMB48’s 24th single “Koi nanka No thank you!” sold 146,941 copies in its first week to lead sales this week, but couldn’t add enough points in other metrics to overtake LiSA’s mega-hit movie theme. The J-pop girl group bows at No. 2.

Billboard Japan and TikTok launched a new project called NEXT FIRE in October to highlight the hottest next-gen J-pop acts on a monthly basis through its hybrid weekly programs. The featured artist for November, Yuuri, is enjoying marked uptick in streaming since he live-streamed a performance of his latest single “Dryflower” on Nov. 6, reaching 7,721,082 streams this week to give the singer-songwriter his first-ever top 10 hit on the Japan Hot 100. His viral indie hit “Kakurenbo” (“Hide-and-seek”) — a track that went on to become a TikTok phenomenon and scored him a major label contract this summer — also jumped from No. 47 to No. 37 this week fueled by streaming.

TikTok has lately been a driving force in launching the careers of previously unknown acts in Japan, including Eito and YOASOBI, and Yuuri appears to be on track to become the next household name in J-pop.

The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, audio streams, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! video views, Gracenote look-ups and karaoke data.

Take a look at the full Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart, dated Nov. 16 to 22, here.

Internet Money & Gunna’s ‘Lemonade’ Leads Rhythmic Songs Chart

Production collective Internet Money rallies to its first No. 1 as artists on Billboard’s Rhythmic Songs airplay chart as “Lemonade,” a collaboration with Gunna that also features Don Toliver and NAV, ascends from No. 2 on the list dated Nov. 28. The collaboration reaches the summit thanks to its 6% boost in plays at the radio format in the week ending Nov. 22, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Internet Money is led by songwriters and producers Nick Mira, 20, and Taz Taylor, 28, who have contributed to a string of pop, R&B and hip-hop hits in recent years. Notably, both men have already claimed No. 1s as producers and writers on the Rhythmic Songs chart. The pair entirely co-produced — and co-wrote, with others — Lil Tecca’s “Ran$om,” which ruled for one week last year, while Mira also produced and co-wrote Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams,” another one-week champ, in 2018.

With both men sporting production and writing credits on “Lemonade,” Mira adds a third Rhythmic Songs No. 1 as a writer and producer, while Taylor nets his second in both capacities.

Gunna, meanwhile, scores his second No. 1 after his featured turn on Chris Brown’s “Heat.” That track reigned for one week in 2018. NAV and Don Toliver each post a first Rhythmic Songs No. 1.

In addition to its Rhythmic Songs coronation, “Lemonade” skips 21-14 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart through a 15% surge to 8.6 million in audience in the week ending Nov. 22. The track also holds at No. 34 on the Pop Songs airplay chart, though it adds 20% in weekly plays at the format.

“Lemonade” appears on Internet Money’s album B4 The Storm, which debuted at No. 6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 in September.

Pentatonix Honor Those Who Made 2020 a Little Brighter in Festive ‘Thank You’ Video

2020 was a year unlike any other, but Pentatonix is still finding things to be grateful for.

In their heartfelt new video on Wednesday (Nov. 25) for their holiday song, “Thank You,” the five-piece a capella group is seen building snowmen, having a snowball fight, enjoying a family dinner and chatting with loved ones safely and virtually. “Thank you for your smile / It’s warmer than the fire / Your gentle laughter / Is sweeter than a choir,” the group sings in the chorus.

“Thank You” is featured on Pentatonix’s festive album, We Need A Little Christmas, which dropped earlier this month. The group is set to perform at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday (Nov. 27), and will join NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center next Wednesday (Dec. 2).

Watch the “Thank You” video below.

Queen’s ‘Greatest Hits’ Took 39 Years to Crack Billboard 200 Top 10 — And Only One Album Has Taken Longer

Queen’s Greatest Hits finally enters the top 10 on the Billboard 200 this week, 39 years and one month after its release. That’s the record for a non-holiday album. The record among all albums is held by another legendary act with a royal name: Nat King Cole, whose The Christmas Song took 55 years to finally crack the top 10.

Greatest Hits was first released in October 1981 and has been reissued multiple times over the ensuing decades. Before this week, a 1992 edition of Greatest Hits brought the album closest to the top 10, peaking at No. 11 on Oct. 10, 1992.

Queen’s album leaps from No. 36 to No. 8 on the Billboard 200 dated Nov. 28. The surge is linked to a vinyl sale on Nov. 14 at Walmart, where all vinyl albums in-store were marked down to $15. In the week ending Nov. 19, Greatest Hits sold 24,000 copies across all formats, with vinyl LPs accounting for 23,000 of that sum.

The Queen and Cole albums are two of 11 albums that took 10 years or more to finally break into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 for the first time. Here’s a complete list. Each entry shows the album’s release date, the date it finally entered the top 10 and the “boost factor” that brought it into the top 10.

1. Nat King Cole, The Christmas Song (55 years)

Released: 1963

Entered top 10: Jan. 5, 2019

Boost factor: Audio streams, especially of the classic title track

2. Queen, Greatest Hits (39 years and one month)

Released: Oct. 26, 1981

Entered top 10: Nov. 28, 2020

Boost factor: Vinyl sale at Walmart

3. Aretha Franklin, 30 Greatest Hits (approx. 33 years)

Released: 1985

Entered top 10: Aug. 25, 2018

Boost factor: Franklin’s death at age 76

4. Bob Marley & the Wailers, Legend (30 years, four months and two weeks)

Released: May 8, 1984

Entered top 10: Sept. 20, 2014

Boost factor: 99 cent digital sale

5. N.W.A, Straight Outta Compton (27 years, one month)

Released: Aug. 8, 1988

Entered top 10: Sept. 5, 2015

Boost factor: Release of film of the same name

6. Prince, The Hits/The B-Sides (22 years, seven months and three weeks)

Released: Sept. 14, 1993

Entered top 10: May 7, 2016

Boost factor: Prince’s death at age 57

7. Queen, The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III (18 years)

Released: Nov. 13, 2000

Entered top 10: Nov. 17, 2018

Boost factor: Release of film Bohemian Rhapsody

8. Prince,  The Very Best of Prince (14 years, nine months and one week)

Released: July 31, 2001

Entered top 10: May 7, 2016

Boost factor: Prince’s death

9. Phil Collins, …Hits (13 years, 10 months)

Released: Oct. 5, 1998

Entered top 10: Aug. 4, 2012

Boost factor: 99 cent digital sale

10. David Bowie, Best of Bowie (13 years, three months and one week)

Released: Oct. 22, 2002

Entered top 10: Jan. 30, 2016

Boost factor: Bowie’s death at age 69

11. Avenged Sevenfold, Waking the Fallen (11 years, two weeks)

Released: Aug. 26, 2003

Entered top 10: Sept. 13, 2014

Boost factor: Album reissued with bonus tracks