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Universal Music Has Led the Billboard 200 for an Impressive 38 Weeks This Year

| November 22, 2021

Albums released by Universal Music Group and its family of labels have occupied the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 for 38 weeks so far this year, setting a new chart record. According to UMG’s internal research, the company has surpassed the previous record of 36 weeks spent by a single music company at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in a calendar year — a mark UMG itself set in 2020. UMG claims to be the first music company to achieve this level of dominance on the chart since MRC Data, formerly known as Nielsen Soundscan, began tracking weekly album sales in 1991.

The longest-running UMG album at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this year — representing more than a quarter of the 38-week total — was Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album (Big Loud/Republic), which spent 10 weeks at the top. That was followed by Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour (Interscope) and Drake’s Certified Lover Boy (Republic), both of which spent five weeks at No. 1.

Taylor Swift scored no fewer than three No. 1 albums for UMG this year for a total of six weeks at the peak, with Republic’s Evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) all spending time at the top. The latter album led the most recent Billboard 200 after selling 605,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Nov. 18, according to MRC Data.

Other UMG releases which spent multiple weeks atop the Billboard 200 this year were Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever (Darkroom/Interscope), which spent three weeks at No. 1, while Justin Bieber’s Justice (Def Jam) and Moneybagg Yo’s A Gangsta’s Pain (Interscope) each occupied the top spot for two weeks.

The remainder of UMG albums to spend time at No. 1 this year were there for a single week. They are: Rod Wave’s Soulfly (Interscope), J Cole’s The Off Season (Roc Nation), Lil Baby and Lil Durk’s The Voice of Heroes (Quality Control/Motown), Pop Smoke’s Faith (Republic), Kanye West’s Donda (Def Jam) and Summer Walker’s Still Over It (Interscope).

This isn’t the first time UMG has scored a feat on the Billboard 200 this year. In June, albums released by the company occupied nine of the top 10 on the chart, a phenomenon achieved only five other times in the Billboard 200’s 64-year history — according to UMG’s internal research — all of which were also by UMG.

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