Mary J. Blige crowns the R&B Albums chart as her latest release, Strength of a Woman, arrives on the May 20-dated tally with 78,000 equivalent album unites earned in the tracking week ending May 4, according to Nielsen Music.
The set simultaneously becomes her 20th career entry on both the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart (bowing at No. 2) and the Billboard 200 (No. 3). Blige’s Billboard 200 entrance marks her highest-charting effort since 2010, when Stronger With Each Tear debuted at No. 2.
The R&B Albums chart ranks the most popular R&B albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). It is one of Billboard’s numerous genre-specific album charts that rank the popularity of albums by equivalent album units.
Meanwhile, Blige’s latest single “U + Me (Love Lesson)” spends a third consecutive week atop the Adult R&B Songs airplay chart (up 5 percent in spins in the week ending May 7). The song became Blige’s sixth chart-topper at the format when it reached the summit on the May 6 chart issue. The single concurrently hops 25-19 on the Hot R&B Songs chart in its second frame.
Elsewhere on Adult R&B Songs, Strength’s opening track “Love Yourself,” featuring Kanye West, has a slight dip, stepping 20-21 in its fifth week (down 7 percent in plays).
Earlier this year, Blige scored her longest-running No. 1 on Adult R&B Songs as the new album’s lead single “Thick of It” wrapped up a 16-week run atop the chart — surpassing her previous best with “Be Without You,” which spent 14 weeks at No. 1 in 2006. “Thick of It” is among only nine tracks to spend 16 weeks or more on the list. (The longest run at No. 1 on the 24-year-old chart is tied between Maxwell’s “Fortunate” and Jill Scott’s “So In Love,” featuring Anthony Hamilton, each with 18 weeks at No. 1.)
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