Iron Maiden Earns Highest Charting Album Ever on Billboard 200 With ‘Senjutsu’

Iron Maiden earns its highest charting album ever on the Billboard 200 chart (dated Sept. 18), as its latest studio effort Senjutsu debuts at No. 3. The veteran hard rock band previously peaked at No. 4 with its last two studio releases: The Book of Souls (in 2015) and The Final Frontier (2010). In total, Senjutsu is Iron Maiden’s 15th top 40-charting album (dating to its first, The Number of the Beast, in 1982), of which four have hit the top 10.

Of Senjutsu’s 64,000 equivalent album units earned, album sales comprise 61,000 (making it the top-selling album of the week), SEA units comprise 3,000 (equaling 3.57 million on-demand streams of the set’s 10 tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum.

Senjutsu logs the second-largest week of 2021 for a hard rock album in both equivalent album units earned and in traditional album sales. It trails only Foo FightersMedicine at Midnight, which debuted on the Feb. 20 chart with 70,000 units (of which 64,000 were in album sales). (Hard rock albums are defined as those that have charted on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart.)

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. 18, 2021-dated chart (where Senjutsu debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Sept. 14. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

LadyLand 2021 Welcomes NYC’s LGBTQ Nightlife Back With Christina Aguilera, Caroline Polachek & More

For the last year-and-a-half, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it nearly impossible for the LGBTQ community to come together and celebrate. While Pride Month celebrations were able to resume in part in 2021, the community was still left to observe the season from the safety of social distance.

So, Ladyfag, one of New York City’s hottest names in nightlife, decided to help make up for the celebrations that we lost on Saturday (Sept. 11) at the Brooklyn Mirage with her third installment of LadyLand Festival, Brooklyn’s premiere queer music event, with a series of show-stopping performances, DJ sets, drag shows, and much more to entertain the fully-vaccinated crowd.

The event’s big moment arrived just after midnight, when pop icon Christina Aguilera, clad in full Lady Liberty drag (which she ultimately tore away to reveal a nude bodysuit underneath), appeared on the stage for a house-shaking set chock-full of nothing but her biggest hits. From the start, Aguilera commanded the attention of the screaming audience, kicking off her 40-minute set with a string of fan-favorites, including “Your Body,” “Genie in a Bottle” and “Dirrty,” all while a bevy of scantily-clad male backup dancers grinded and twerked their way through the performance.

Knowing her audience, Aguilera had a series of surprises in store — early on in the performance, the “Ain’t No Other Man” singer brought out Drag Race stars Aquaria, Milk, Jaida Essence Hall and Dahlia Sin for a lip-sync medley to a string of singles. Aguilera then reappeared alongside the queens, dressed in a set of stunning rhinestoned denim chaps, for a campy, drag-inspired version of her Moulin Rouge hit “Lady Marmalade.”

The highlight of Aguilera’s performance came right at the end, though, when the star brought the lights down and delivered a stirring performance of “Beautiful,” wherein she reminded the crowd of the important message of LadyLand. “If I could leave you with one note for the night, on this date when we acknowledge so many that we lost,” she said over the cries of fans in the crowd. “Love yourself, and always love each other.”

Earlier in the evening, Caroline Polachek stepped onto the stage at the Mirage to deliver a moody, soft set of ethereal songs, letting the crowd come down from hard-hitting DJ sets for a vibe-driven show. Spouting off her own hits, including songs like “Pang,” “Door” and “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” along with a cover of The Corrs’s 2000 single “Breathless,” Polachek let the crowd know just how happy she was to see them.

“Getting to perform in front of all of you is a dream come true,” Polachek said. “Here’s to resilience.”

For drag fans in the audience, Jaida Essence Hall and Aquaria delivered their own incredible shows. Offering her services as an emcee of sorts for the evening, Hall kept the crowd engaged and attentive, right up until her very own lip sync number, where she showed off her dance skills with kicks, splits, dips, costume changes, a wig reveal and just abut every other trick you would hope to see in a top-tier lip sync number. As for Aquaria, the Drag Race season 10 winner opened for Aguilera with a pounding hyperpop-meets-house DJ set, filled with anthems courtesy of Cher, Lady Gaga and many more, along with a few unexpected tracks, including a dance remix to My Chemical Romance’s angsty “Teenagers.”

The night also saw a star-turn performance from Nina Sky, the fabulous DJ duo behind 2004’s “Move Ya Body,” with NYC hip-hop duo The Dragon Sisters joining them onstage for a blissed-out dance party. Up-and-coming rapper La Goony Chonga brought fans to their feet with her booty-shaking set early on in the evening, delivering high-energy versions of songs like “Pa Mi,” “Que Te Gusta” and “Duro 2005.” For concert-goers who wanted to keep the party going following Aguilera’s show-stopping set, DJs Michael Magnan and Mez transformed the Mirage into a rave, their entrancing house mixes keeping fans up and dancing well into the wee hours of the morning.

LadyLand also made sure that those looking for the chaotic vibes of the queer nightlife scene got their fill at the adjoining King’s Hall, where DJs Kenni Javon, P_A_T, Skin and Sausha delivered cutting techno, trance and dubstep sets, while enthusiastic fans cheered from the sidelines. The highlight for the King’s Hall, though, came with two performances of Choke Hole, the New Orleans-born drag-meets-wrestling extravaganza pitting queen versus queen in campy and fierce wrestling-inspired numbers. Party-goers cheered wildly, for instance, while NYC drag stars Ruby Fox and Linux smacked each other with foam, oversized drink tickets and VIP wristbands, before practicing their best wrestling moves on one another.

Whether it was the stunning musical performances, heart-pounding DJ sets, gag-worthy drag numbers or just the overall sense of reuniting a community that had been apart for so long, LadyLand Festival delivered a rollicking, euphoric evening on Saturday. As a pregnant Ladyfag put it shortly before Aguilera’s set, “The best way to heal is through collective joy.”

Drake’s ‘Certified Lover Boy’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart With Biggest Week for an Album in Over a Year

Drake’s Certified Lover Boy album makes a spectacular debut atop the Billboard 200 chart with the biggest week for any album in over a year. The long-awaited set, which was released on Sept. 3, is Drake’s 10th No. 1 and starts with 613,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 9, according to MRC Data. That’s the biggest week for an album since the Aug. 8, 2020-dated chart, when Taylor Swift’s Folklore launched at No. 1 with 846,000 units.

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. 18, 2021-dated chart (where Certified Lover Boy debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Sept. 14. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of Certified Lover Boy’s 613,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 9, SEA units comprise 562,000 units (equaling 743.67 million on-demand streams of the album’s 21 tracks), album sales comprise 46,000 (all from digital album sales; a CD release is due on Oct. 1) and TEA units comprise 5,000 units.

Let’s take a look at some of the feats that Drake achieves with the debut of Certified Lover Boy:

10th No. 1 Album: Drake is now one of only eight 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, Barbra Streisand (11 each), Drake, Eminem, Elvis Presley and Kanye West (10 each). Drake first topped the Billboard 200 dated July 3, 2010, with Thank Me Later.

Biggest Week for an Album in Over a Year: With 613,000 equivalent album units earned, Certified Lover Boy logs the largest week for any album since Swift’s Folklore launched at No. 1 on the Aug. 8, 2020-dated chart with 846,000 units. Certified also easily scores 2021’s biggest week, blowing past the previous high, logged just a week earlier (Sept. 11 chart), when West’s Donda bowed at No. 1 with 309,000 units.

Largest Week for a Rap Album Since Drake’s Own ‘Scorpion’ Two Years Ago: It’s rare for an album to post as large a week as Certified. So rare, that in the last five years (going back to September 2016), only albums by Drake and Swift have been as big or bigger in a single week. Swift’s Reputation debuted with 1.24 million units on the Dec. 2, 2017-dated chart, followed by Drake’s Scorpion (732,000; July 14, 2018) and Swift’s Lover (867,000; Sept. 7, 2019) and Folklore (846,000; Aug. 8, 2020). Thus, Drake’s Certified Lover Boy snares the biggest week for an R&B/hip-hop album, a rap album, an album by a male artist, and any album by someone not named Taylor Swift since Drake’s own Scorpion in 2018.

Blockbuster Streams: Certified’s start of 562,000 SEA units equals a whopping 743.67 million on-demand streams of the album’s 21 tracks. Of that sum, audio on-demand streams comprise 714.83 million, while video on-demand streams comprise 28.84 million. Only one album has ever scored a larger streaming week by on-demand audio streams: Drake’s Scorpion, with 745.92 million for its 25 tracks during its debut week. (When Scorpion launched, SEA units only included on-demand audio streams, not on-demand video. Video streams did not join the Billboard 200’s methodology until the Jan. 18, 2020-dated chart.)

Certified Lover Boy was not preceded by any pre-release singles. Scorpion, however, was led by a trio of hits on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 songs chart: “God’s Plan,” “Nice for What” (both No. 1s, leading the list for 11 and eight weeks, respectively) and “I’m Upset.” (Scorpion ultimately housed seven Hot 100 top 10s, including another No. 1: the 10-week leader “In My Feelings.”) At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, West’s Donda falls to No. 2 in its second week with 141,000 equivalent album units earned (down 54%).

Iron Maiden earns its highest charting album ever on the Billboard 200, as its latest studio effort, Senjutsu, debuts at No. 3. The veteran hard rock band previously peaked at No. 4 with its last two studio releases: The Book of Souls (in 2015) and The Final Frontier (2010). In total, Senjutsu is Iron Maiden’s 15th top 40-charting album (dating to its first, The Number of the Beast, in 1982), of which four have hit the top 10.

Of Senjutsu’s 64,000 equivalent album units earned, album sales comprise 61,000 (making it the top-selling album of the week), SEA units comprise 3,000 (equaling 3.57 million on-demand streams of the set’s 10 tracks) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum.

Senjutsu logs the second-largest week of 2021 for a hard rock album in both equivalent album units earned and in traditional album sales. It trails only Foo FightersMedicine at Midnight, which debuted on the Feb. 20 chart with 70,000 units (of which 64,000 were in album sales). (Hard rock albums are defined as those that have charted on Billboard’s Hard Rock Albums chart.)

At No. 4 on the Billboard 200, Olivia Rodrigo’s former chart-topper Sour falls one spot with 61,000 equivalent album units earned (down 18%). Doja Cat’s Planet Her dips 4-5 (49,000 units; down 7%), Morgan Wallen’s former No. 1 Dangerous: The Double Album is a non-mover at No. 6 (40,000; down less than 1%), Billie Eilish’s former leader Happier Than Ever is also steady at No. 7 (just over 39,000; down 1%) and The Kid LAROI’s chart-topping F*ck Love falls 5-8 (39,000; down 10%).

Imagine Dragons claim their fifth top 10 album on the Billboard 200 as the rock band’s latest studio set, Mercury – Act 1, debuts at No. 9. The effort launches with 31,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 17,000; SEA units comprise 13,000 (equaling 17.04 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks) and TEA units comprise 1,000.

Rod Wave’s former No. 1 SoulFly closes out the new top 10, dipping 8-10 with 30,000 equivalent album units earned (down 21%).

Backstreet Boys Cancel Las Vegas Holiday Residency, Postpone Christmas Album Over COVID-19 Restrictions

The Backstreet Boys are putting a halt on their holiday music plans.

The boy band announced on social media Friday (Sept. 10) that their upcoming holiday album is postponed and their forthcoming holiday-themed Las Vegas residency is canceled because of COVID-19-related restrictions.

“With the current state of the world still limiting our travel and causing small things in these processes to take much longer, we have decided to wait until 2022 to release our Christmas album and subsequently will be canceling our limited Las Vegas run of Christmas shows,” the Backstreet Boys wrote on Twitter.

The pop quintet — comprising Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean and Kevin Richardson — was scheduled for a residency in November and December at Las Vegas’ Zappos Theater inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The A Very Backstreet Christmas Party dates were to be the group’s “first-ever holiday shows, filled with classic holiday favorites, new originals and their biggest hits,” the act’s website states.

Ticket refunds for the Las Vegas residency will be issued automatically at the point of purchase.

The 12-show run was set to arrive three years after the band’s record-shattering Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life residency at the Zappos Theater. The group’s residency grossed $34.4 million from the total 62 shows they performed at the legendary Vegas venue in 2017 and 2018, according to Billboard Boxscore.

In their message to fans, the Backstreet Boys said they’ve “been hard at work” on their upcoming holiday album for the past six months. “We are so excited and proud of what we have and the way it’s all coming together. We feel that this is one of our best creations yet and that this creation deserves the best possible scenario and set up for success.”

The boy band concluded, “While we are disappointed, we know this is for the best and we absolutely cannot wait to share the magic of this album with all of you when the time is right!”

See the Backstreet Boys’ full statement below.