Jay Z Performs at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
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JAY-Z Scores 14th No. 1 Album On Billboard 200 Chart With '4:44'

The superstar extends his own record.

JAY-Z collects his 14th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as his latest release, 4:44, debuts atop the tally. According to Nielsen Music, in the week ending July 13, the set earned 262,000 equivalent album units -- a larger-than-initially-expected sum, and the fourth-largest week of 2017 for any album. Of its total, 174,000 units were in traditional album sales.

4:44’s No. 1 arrival extends JAY-Z’s record as the solo artist with the most No. 1 albums in the 61-year history of the Billboard 200 chart. He distances himself farther ahead of the two acts with the second-most leaders among soloists: Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand, who each have 11 chart-toppers. Among all acts, JAY-Z has the second-most leaders, behind only The Beatles, which have 19 No. 1s.

JAY-Z also furthers his own record as the artist with the most debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, as all 14 of his albums have bowed in the top slot. (Springsteen has the second-most No. 1 debuts, with eight.)

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new July 29-dated chart (where JAY-Z starts at No. 1) will be posted in full to Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, July 18.

4:44 was initially issued on June 30 (via S. Carter Enterprises/Roc Nation) for one week of streaming exclusivity through Tidal. However, Tidal did not report data for the album to Nielsen Music for the week ending July 6, so the album did not debut on the July 22-dated chart. (In addition, by July 2, the album was also offered as a free download -- sponsored by Sprint -- via the web site 444.tidal.com. The free downloads were ineligible to chart, per Billboard’s current pricing policy.)

Then, on July 7, the album became widely available to most streaming services (but not Spotify, as JAY-Z pulled his catalog from the service in April) and to retailers as both a download and CD (with three bonus tracks).

Overall, 4:44’s launch of 262,000 units grants the album the fourth-largest week of 2017, behind the debuts of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. (603,000 units), Drake’s More Life (505,000) and Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) (451,000).

Of 4:44’s 174,000 sales in the week ending July 13, the set sold 131,000 as a download and 43,000 on CD.

Despite 4:44s absence from Spotify, the album still generated the fourth-biggest streaming debut of 2017. Of its total 262,000-unit start, 7,000 were in TEA units, while SEA units represented 82,000 units. The latter sum equals 122.4 million streams of the album’s songs. In terms of streaming debuts in 2017, it trails only Drake’s More Life (257,000 SEA units; 384.8 million song streams), Lamar’s DAMN. (227,000 SEA units; 340.6 million song streams) and Sheeran’s ÷ (90,000 SEA units; 134.6 million song streams).

JAY-Z’s previous album, Magna Carta…Holy Grail, debuted at No. 1 in 2013 with 528,000 copies sold in its first week (before the chart transitioned to a consumption-ranked tally in 2014). Like 4:44, Magna Carta was issued in a unique fashion: it was first released (on July 4, 2013) as a free download to certain Samsung phone and tablet users who had downloaded a JAY-Z-centric app. (One million copies were available for free to fans through the app.) It then became widely available to retailers on July 9.

Every one of JAY-Z’s solo studio albums have reached No. 1 since 1998’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life (which was also his first No. 1). His 14 chart-toppers also include three collaborative efforts: one each with R. Kelly (Unfinished Business), Linkin Park (MTV Ultimate Mash-Ups Presents: Collision Course) and Kanye West (Watch the Throne).

The rest of the new top 10 on the July 29-dated Billboard 200 chart will be revealed in a separate story posting later today (July 16).

This article was originally published on Billboard.com.

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ICONOLOGY: Missy Elliott Dropping Collection Of New Songs Tonight

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The superstar is not only finally receiving the Video Vanguard Award at the 2019 MTV VMAs this coming Monday (Aug. 26), the Virginia native also became the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame and received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College Of Music. She's celebrating her standout year with her longtime fans by releasing new music.

ICONOLOGY is a collection of new songs that are meant to make the listener throw it back to the times when music made us want to move. She revealed the news on social media.

"This year has been a tremendous year for me…I am humbled and grateful," she wrote on Instagram." THANK YOU for allowing me to smell the roses. You, my fans, and God are the reason I am here and have celebrated every milestone with me!... Let’s #ThrowItBack to a time when music just felt good and made us want to dance! Sincerely, Dr. Melissa “Missy” Elliott #Iconology."

We're hoping there are some eye-popping videos to accompany these new songs. Check out her post below.

 

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This year has been a tremendous year for me…I am humbled and grateful. THANK YOU for allowing me to smell the roses. You, my fans, and God are the reason I am here and have celebrated every milestone with me! So, I have a SURPRISE for you... let’s continue the celebration at midnight tonight…I’m dropping a collection of new songs! Let’s #ThrowItBack to a time when music just felt good and made us want to dance! Sincerely, Dr. Melissa “Missy” Elliott #Iconology

A post shared by Missy Elliott (@missymisdemeanorelliott) on Aug 22, 2019 at 11:00am PDT

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Lizzo Reacts To Hillary Clinton's "Truth Hurts" Tweet

Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” may be over two years old, but it’s proven to be her most impactful hit yet. The track gained steam after being featured in Netflix’s Someone Great, and currently sits at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also garnered the attention of one of the biggest names in politics.

A video Lizzo posted on Twitter features Hillary Clinton and other former Presidential hopefuls standing and saluting the flag. While we may expect the National Anthem to play, “Truth Hurts” blares over the speaker instead.

Shortly after the video was posted, Hillary Clinton (or at least a very in-touch intern of hers) replied, tweeting out the song’s popular lyrics “I just took a DNA test, turns out…”

“@hillaryclinton just confirmed Truth Hurts is 100% the new national anthem... have a great day,” Lizzo wrote on Instagram.

The musician opened up about practically quitting music after “Truth Hurts” failed to take off initially.

“I remember thinking, ‘If I quit music now, nobody would notice. This is my best song ever, and nobody cares,’” she told PEOPLE. “I was like, ‘F**k it, I’m done.’ And a lot of people rallied; my producer, my publicist and my family, they were like, ‘Just keep going because this is the darkest before the dawn.'”

She also recently teased a remix to the song with DaBaby.

"I just took a DNA test, turns out..."

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 21, 2019

 

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@hillaryclinton just confirmed Truth Hurts is 100% the new national anthem... have a great day 😀

A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on Aug 21, 2019 at 7:29am PDT

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Drake Faces Lawsuits Over 'Nice For What' And 'In My Feelings'

A rapper by the name of Sam Skully is suing both Drake and Big Freedia for alleged use of his beat for the songs “In My Feelings” and “Nice For What.”

Per TMZ, Skully (real name Samuel Nicholas III) claims that a portion of his 2000’s song “Roll Call” was used in the popular song “In My Feelings.” He also alleges that “Nice For What,” which features Big Freedia, uses another one of his stolen beats.

“In the docs, Sam Skully claims he published the beat on a CD he released in New Orleans way back in 2000, but says he didn't know his work had been stolen until years later ... when Drake and Big Freedia released songs that started climbing the charts,” reports the site.

“Nice For What” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018, as did “In My Feelings.” The latter track remained there for 10 weeks and was associated with the highly-popular “In My Feelings” challenge.

Skully is also reportedly suing Asylum Records, Cash Money Records and Republic Records for damages.

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