Toronto Star

Latest Drake his best. That’s ‘certified’

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All year long, Drake has teased his fans with a new album, which he said early on would be called “Certified Lover Boy.” It was sure to be a hit, but how big? For Drake, a titan of the streaming era — who over the last week has been facing off against Kanye West — the stakes were high.

Now the answer is clear: “Certified Lover Boy” is a blockbuste­r, eclipsing everything else released this year.

In its first week out, Drake’s album opened at No. 1 on Billboard’s chart with the equivalent of 613,000 sales in the United States, according to MRC Data. That is more than any title since Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” had 846,000 in July 2020, before a change in Billboard’s chart rules disqualifi­ed most retail bundles, like giving fans a download with the sale of a Tshirt — a highly effective but contested sales strategy.

In its first week out, “Certified Lover Boy” and its 21 songs racked up 744 million streams in the United States — about 74,000 per minute — far more than any other title. It broke Spotify’s record for the most streams in a single day. (West’s “Donda” opened with the equivalent of 309,000 sales, including 357 million streams.)

“Certified Lover Boy” did not quite match the streaming performanc­e of Drake’s last proper studio album, “Scorpion,” in 2018. In its first week out, “Scorpion” had 746 million clicks.

Also this week, the veteran British heavy metal band Iron Maiden scored its highest chart position ever with “Senjutsu,” which opens at No. 3 — with just 3.6 million streams, but 61,000 copies sold as a full package.

 ?? ALLEN J. SCHABEN LOS ANGELES TIMES FILE PHOTO ?? In its first week out, Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” opened at No. 1 on Billboard’s chart with the equivalent of 613,000 U.S. sales.
ALLEN J. SCHABEN LOS ANGELES TIMES FILE PHOTO In its first week out, Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” opened at No. 1 on Billboard’s chart with the equivalent of 613,000 U.S. sales.

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