David Bowie's 'Blackstar' album debuts at # 1 on Billboard 200 Chart

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david-bowie.jpgDavid Bowie's final album, Blackstar, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, giving the late music legend his first No. 1 album.

Bowie died on Jan. 10 of cancer, two days after the release of the album.

Blackstar was issued through ISO/Columbia Records and earned 181,000 equivalent album units in the U.S., during the week ending Jan. 14, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 174,000 were in pure album sales - Bowie's biggest sales week for an album since Nielsen began electronically tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991. (His previous sales high in that span of time came when his last album, 2013's The Next Day, bowed with 85,000 sold in its first week.)

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Jan. 30, 2016-dated chart (where Bowie debuts at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard's websites on Wednesday, Jan. 20. (Charts will be refreshed one day later than usual this week, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 18.)

Clearly, music fans were moved by the news of Bowie's death, as not only did Blackstar perform strongly, but he has nine further albums that either re-enter or debut on the Billboard 200 chart. Among them are two further titles in the top 40: the greatest hits collection Best of Bowie (No. 4) and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (No. 21).

Bowie's history on the Billboard 200 dates back nearly 44 years, when Hunky Dory bowed on the chart dated April 15, 1972. Blackstar and Best of Bowie bring the artist's total of top 10-charting albums to nine. He previously hit the region with The Next Day (peaking at No. 2 in 2013), Let's Dance (No. 4, 1983), ChangesOneBowie (No. 10, 1976), Station to Station (No. 3, 1976), Young Americans (No. 9, 1975), David Live (No. 8, 1974) and Diamond Dogs (No. 5, 1974).

Best of Bowie, released in 2002, returns to the chart at No. 4 (a new peak) with 94,000 units (up from only a few thousand in the week previous). It sold 51,000 in pure album sales, gaining by 6,698 percent. (It originally peaked at No. 70 in 2002.)