With "Lemonade," her latest release, Beyoncé marks the sixth time in a row that one of her solo albums has debuted at No. 1. She's the first artist to ever top the list with six consecutive albums.
Singer Beyoncé has stormed to the top of the weekly U.S. Billboard 200 album chart with her surprise visual concept album "Lemonade." After debuting as an hour-long film made up of music videos on the US cable network HBO last week, the album was initially made available exclusively on the streaming service Tidal before being released to other online retailers.
With more than 12 songs on the Hot 100 at the same time, Beyoncé has made music history, the first time a female act has done so. "Lemonade" follows her self-titled album in 2013, "4" from 2011, "I Am … Sasha Fierce" from 2008, "B’Day" from 2006 and "Dangerously In Love" which was her first solo album in 2003. She has surpassed Taylor Swift's previous record of 11 (set on Nov. 13, 2010).
The artist's sixth solo album has so far sold 485,000 albums, more than 900,000 songs and was streamed about 115 million times, totaling 653,000 units according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.
"Lemonade" breaking records
"Lemonade" also tops the sales-based Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, with 485,000 in pure album sales, granting the superstar her sixth No. 1 on both charts. It follows on the success of the single "Formation," a power anthem to race and feminism which was pre-released along with her controversial Super Bowl performance in February. The song and dance promoted the #BlackLivesMatter movement, condemned police violence, and drew a backlash from police rights' groups.
"Formation" is just one of the songs with political undertones released on "Lemonade" which has been making headlines worldwide after its release. Much has been read into the lyrics of the album's songs, with some speculating that Beyoncé's husband, rapper Jay Z, may have had an extramarital affair. The hashtag #Lemonade and #BeckyWithTheGoodHair trended on social media for days, with fans suggesting different women as the potential mistress. The album itself tells a story as the songs transition through the so-called five stages of grief over an affair, their subjects moving from suspicion and anger to hurt and finally forgiveness and reconciliation.
But is there any truth to the rumors about Jay Z? Beyoncé had often touched on infidelity in her songs, like "Ring the Alarm" and "Jealous." But at the end of the "Lemonade" film, in a chapter called "Forgiveness," the singer is seen hugging her husband of eight years. In "Sandcastles," Jay Z makes another appearance that hints at a troubled union - but also at a long one that can endure anything.