ABBA Eyeing Return to U.K. Top 10

ABBA is back, and they’re targeting a return to the U.K. Top 10 for the first time in almost 40 years.

The legendary Swedish group last week made their long-awaited comeback with the release of “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down.”

Based on sales and streaming data from the first half of the cycle, those releases are poised to enter the singles chart at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively.

Both songs have been streamed over 500,000 times this weekend, the OCC reports, and “Don’t Shut Me Down” is the most downloaded song so far this week.

The tracks, should they hold their momentum, will mark ABBA’s first U.K. Top 10 singles since “One Of Us”, which peaked at No. 3 in December 1981.

The two new singles are taken from Voyage, ABBA’s first new studio album in 39 years, due out Nov. 5. The foursome will support the LP with a 2022 concert event, featuring avatars of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid, accompanied by a 10-piece live band, in a custom-built arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London.

Tickets go on sales Tuesday (Sept. 7).

Currently, ABBA has nine U.K. No. 1 singles and 19 Top 10s. They’ve also landed nine No. 1 albums in the territory.

Meanwhile, Drake is powering to a seventh U.K. No. 1 single with “Girls Want Girls” featuring Lil Baby. The Canadian hip-hop star locks up the Top 3 tracks on the First Look chart, which ranks releases based on the weekend’s sales and streaming activity.

As it stands, Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” could lose its crown after a 10-week run at the top. It’s at No.  4 on the chart blast.

The Official U.K. Singles Chart is published late Friday, local time.

Kanye West’s ‘Donda’ Debuts at No. 1 In U.K.

Kanye West is crowned on the U.K. albums chart as Donda (Def Jam) debuts at No. 1.

Following its digital-only release on Aug. 29, Donda snags 20,000 chart sales, with 91% of the total from streaming equivalent sales, and the remainder from downloads, according to the OCC.

Donda racked up 33.4 million streams across its 27 tracks, the charts compiler reports, for Kanye’s third U.K. No. 1, following Graduation (2007) and Yeezus (2013). Three tracks from it enter the Official U.K. Singles Chart, led by “Hurricane,” the week’s hottest debut at No. 7.

Also new to the Official U.K. Albums Chart is Maisie Peters’s debut album You Signed Up For This (Gingerbread Man), which starts at No. 2, while Scottish synth-pop outfit Chvrches bow at No. 4 with Screen Violence (Virgin), their fourth studio effort.

Halsey completes the Top 5 with If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power (EMI), her fourth LP. It’s the U.K.’s best-selling album on vinyl in the latest cycle.

British singer and songwriter Becky Hill enjoys a Top 10 start with her debut Only Honest At The Weekend (Polydor), new No. 7, while KSI’s All Over The Place (BMG) vaults 20-10 following the release of a deluxe edition.

With ABBA making a much-hyped comeback, fans of the Swedish pop legends are digging for Gold. ABBA’s Greatest Hits (Polydor) lifts 14-12 following news of their new album Voyage and virtual concert, and the release of two new songs.

ABBA’s Greatest Hits is the first album to log 1,000 weeks on the Official U.K. Albums Chart. Its impressive tally now stands at 1,009 weeks.

Over on the national singles survey, Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” (Asylum) enters a 10th week at the top. “Bad Habits” leads an unchanged top four, as Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby” (Lil Nas X) rebounds 7-5 following the announcement of his debut album, Montero.

Camila Cabello Brings ‘Cinderella’ to James Corden’s ‘Crosswalk’ for Live Performance

Camila Cabello and her Cinderella co-stars took their show to the middle of the road, in the middle of rush hour, for James Corden’s “Crosswalk” musical series.

Cabello, along with Idina Menzel, Billy Porter and Corden himself performed several numbers — in front of a slightly confused audience of drivers — from their new Amazon original film that premiered on Friday (Sept. 3).

‘Live theatre — I’ve never done that before in my life,” Cabello exclaims after running out of the way of incoming traffic in the clip that was uploaded to Corden’s YouTube.

“I can’t believe it,” she says following the cast’s first live number. “That was such a rush. And not dangerous at all. I wasn’t scared. Oh my god, there’s gonna be three more songs.”

In the film itself, an updated version of the classic fairy tale filled with modern pop music, Cabello portrays Ella, an ambitious young lady who hopes to one day become a successful businesswoman.

“It feels amazing,” the singer (and now actress) told Billboard at the Miami premiere earlier this week. “I’m so proud to be Latina and I’m so proud of my culture. I would’ve been so excited to see a Latina princess when I was growing up, and the fact that I can be that right now and that representation is possible right now, is amazing.”

Watch Corden’s “Crosswalk the Musical: Cinderella” below to see how the group’s unannounced road show worked out.

Guns N’ Roses & Dave Grohl Play ‘Paradise City’ Through Curfew Cutoff at BottleRock

In the middle of performing “Paradise City” — with surprise guest Dave Grohl — Guns N’ Roses apparently had the power pulled on them due to a 10 p.m. curfew at California’s BottleRock Napa Valley.

Guns N’ Roses, one of the headliners on Saturday’s (Sept. 4) extensive lineup at the festival, continued to power through their hit with Grohl on guitar, despite the speakers suddenly going off.

In video footage from the show, the audience can be heard providing an assist by belting out the song along with Axl Rose, before the frontman throws his mic out into the crowd.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the festival, which takes place at the Napa Valley Expo, has a strict curfew as it’s located in a residential area.

In fact, in previous years, Grohl’s own band had festival organizers pulling the plug when Foo Fighters broke the curfew, and the same thing happened to Neil Young.

Billboard reached out to a representative for BottleRock for comment about Guns N’ Roses’ set this weekend.

The three-day music, wine, craft brew and culinary festival was set for the Napa Valley Expo on Sept. 3-5.

Watch the “Paradise City” performance in the clip below. The sound cuts off at about the 3:05 mark.

Fans Choose ABBA’s ‘I Still Have Faith in You’ and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’ as This Week’s Favorite New Music

The results are in, and in a week of big music releases, ABBA’s return has topped this week’s fan-voted new music poll.

Music fans voted in a poll that was published Friday (Sept. 3) on Billboard, choosing the legendary pop group’s two new singles “I Still Have Faith in You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down” as their favorite new music release of the past week.

“You’ve waited 40 years for a new ABBA song and now there are two!” ABBA’s social media accounts declared on Thursday (Sept. 2) upon the unveiling of the pair of songs that will be included on their new album Voyage, which is set for a Nov. 5 release.

ABBA’s new tunes brought in 33.26% of the vote, narrowly inching ahead of Lady Gaga’s Dawn of Chromatica remix album, which had 32.81% of the vote.

The ABBA tracks beat out both Kanye West and Drake’s new albums — which placed in third and fourth place, respectively — in this week’s readers poll. (Elsewhere, Kanye’s Donda just debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.)

See the final results of this week’s new music release poll below.

Kanye West Lands 10th No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With ‘Donda’

Kanye West lands his 10th No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as Donda debuts atop the list with the year’s biggest week for any album: 309,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 2, according to MRC Data. It surpasses the year’s previous best week, when Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour started with 295,000 units (on the chart dated June 5).

West is now one of only seven artists with at least 10 No. 1 albums in the 65-year history of the Billboard 200 chart. The Beatles have the most No. 1s, with 19. They are followed by Jay-Z (14), Bruce Springsteen (11), Barbra Streisand (11), Eminem (10), Elvis Presley (10) and West. (Waiting in the wings for their 10th No. 1s are the acts with nine leaders: Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Drake, Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift. Of those, two have albums either just released, or on the way: Drake’s Certified Lover Boy dropped on Sept. 3 and Swift’s Red [Taylor’s Version] is due on Nov. 19.)

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. 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. 11, 2021-dated chart (where Donda debuts to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Wednesday, Sept 8 – one day later than usual, owed to the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. on Monday, Sept. 6. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Donda keeps up a hot streak for West on the Billboard 200, as he once again ties Eminem for the most No. 1 debuts in a row on the chart. Donda is West’s 10th straight charting album to bow atop the list. Eminem earned his 10th straight No. 1 debut with his last release, Music to Be Murdered By in 2020. (Overall, Jay-Z has the most debuts at No. 1, with 14, although they were not consecutive.)

West also ties Eminem for the most consecutive No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, each with 10.

Both West and Eminem have only missed No. 1 once in their chart careers on the Billboard 200, each with their debut chart effort. West peaked at No. 2 with The College Dropout in 2004, and Eminem peaked at No. 2 with The Slim Shady LP in 1999.

Donda was surprise-released on an off-cycle Sunday, Aug. 29 (instead of the usual Friday for most new albums), and, thus, launches with just five days of activity in its first chart week, instead of seven. The 27-track album was released only via streamers and digital retailers, while a release date for a physical album has not been announced. Donda includes guest turns by the likes of Chris Brown, DaBaby, Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Lil Durk, Marilyn Manson, Roddy Ricch and The Weeknd – though none are given billed artist credit.

Anticipation for Donda was fueled by three huge ticketed listening events held on July 22, Aug. 5 and Aug. 26 – and all three were live-streamed by Apple Music. The latter gave Donda and West’s catalog of music premium placement on its platform (as did Apple’s iTunes Store).

Of Donda’s 309,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 2, SEA units comprise 272,000 units (equaling 357.39 million on-demand streams of the album’s tracks – the largest streaming week of the year for an album), album sales comprise 37,000 and TEA units comprise less than 1,000 units. (Donda’s tracks are not currently available to purchase a la carte from digital retailers, but were briefly purchasable earlier during the tracking week in the iTunes Store.)

Donda surpasses 2021’s previous largest streaming week for an album, logged by J. Cole’s The Off-Season. The latter bowed on the May 29 chart with 243,000 SEA units – which equaled 325.05 million on-demand streams of the set’s 12 tracks.

Halsey’s If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power debuts at No. 2 on the new Billboard 200 – marking the singer-songwriter’s fourth straight, and total, album to reach the top two. If I Can’t Have Love starts with 98,000 equivalent album units, and of that sum, album sales comprise 70,500 (making it the top-selling album of the week), SEA units comprise 26,500 (equaling 34.76 million on-demand streams of the set’s 13 tracks) and TEA units comprise 1,000. Of If I Can’t Have Love’s 70,500 in total album sales, physical sales comprise 52,500 (across CD, vinyl LP and cassette configurations), while digital album sales comprise 18,000.

If I Can’t Have Love was announced on July 7 with its Friday, Aug. 27 release date in place. Pre-orders began on July 7, as well. West’s Donda, which debuts at No. 1 ahead of If I Can’t Have Love, surprise-dropped on Aug. 29, also with an active pre-order campaign from digital retail. Halsey’s previous album, Manic, also bowed at No. 2 behind another surprise-release album, Eminem’s Music to Be Murdered By. Both Manic and Music were released on Jan. 17, 2020. The former had four months of advance promotion while the latter arrived with no warning.

Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour falls 1-3 on the new Billboard 200 with 74,000 equivalent album units earned (down 44%). Doja Cat’s Planet Her is a non-mover at No. 4 with 53,000 units (down 7%), The Kid LAROI’s former chart-topper F*ck Love rises 7-5 with 44,000 units (down 9%) and Morgan Wallen’s No. 1 Dangerous: The Double Album climbs 9-6 with 40,000 units (down 4%).

Billie Eilish’s former leader Happier Than Ever dips 6-7 with nearly 40,000 equivalent album units earned (down 20%), Rod Wave’s No. 1 SoulFly falls 3-8 with 39,000 units (down 38%) and Trippie Redd’s Trip at Knight falls 2-9 in its second week with 35,000 units (down 57%).

Lil Tecca closes out the top 10 with his new album We Love You Tecca 2, as it launches at No. 10 with 30,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, SEA units comprise 28,000 (equaling 40.52 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks), album sales comprise 1,000 and TEA units comprise a negligible sum.

We Love You Tecca 2 is the third straight top 10 effort for the rapper – the entirety of his charting efforts.

Drake Producer Noah ’40’ Shebib Addresses R. Kelly Credit on ‘TSU’

Noah “40” Shebib, longtime producer and engineer for Drake, has given the backstory on why R. Kelly was included in the credits on Drake’s new album, Certified Lover Boy.

Kelly gets a songwriting credit on CLB’s “TSU” as it wraps in the intro from his 1998 single “Half on a Baby.”

According to 40 — who left a lengthy comment on an Instagram post about the topic on Saturday (Sept. 4) — they “were forced to license” the Kelly track because it appeared in their recording of OG Ron C speaking at the beginning of “TSU.”

In reaction to an Independent news headline posted by Ravyn Wngz, who prompted followers to share their thoughts, 40 chimed in with a statement via his verified Instagram account.

“On a song called tsu at the beginning is a sample of OG Ron c talking,” he wrote in the comments. “Behind that faintly which you can’t even hear is an r Kelly song playing in the background. It has no significance no lyrics are present, r Kelly’s voice isn’t even present but if we wanted to use Ron c talking we were forced to license it.”

40 added, “Doesn’t sit well with me let me just say that. And I’m not here to defend drakes lyrics, but I thought I would clear up that there is no actual r Kelly present and it’s a bit misleading to call him a co lyricist. It’s kinda wild cause I was just reading ‘Baby Girl’ by Kathy Iandoli and the recounts of some of that stuff is horrific and disgusting. Then I saw this post and just had to say something because to think we would stand beside that guy or write with him is just incredibly disgusting.”

It is widely known that Kelly is currently on trial, with a number of his alleged victims giving shocking testimony about the alleged sexual and emotional abuse they have suffered at the singer’s hands; Kelly has repeatedly denied all the allegations.

Continuing the conversation about the instrumental bit of Kelly’s song being included on “TSU,” 40 left another comment on Instagram that said, “I dont think we even knew about it until the final hours when through clearance we discovered it. At that point it’s about the integrity of the art for the artist and that’s not my place to mess with it. I’m an engineer ultimately my job is to help an artist deliver their vision. There’s lots I don’t agree with and I voice my opinion but I definitely don’t subscribe to all the lyrics. I’m worried about sound and sonics melodies and progressions that’s my place.”

“most likely his publisher got paid and I assume a lot of those assets are are already diverted, also to be clear, the value of that to him won’t cover his lawyer for a week lol! That song has multiple samples and tbh I don’t think there’s a lot there to go around,” he wrote.

When someone left a comment asking why Drake’s team didn’t just re-record that part of “TSU,” 40 replied, “time and integrity of the original song. Trust me I would of taken that option if we could of.”

Read through his comments in the post on Instagram.