Morgan Wallen’s ‘One Thing at a Time’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 with a Half-Million Units
It’s his second No. 1, and the follow-up to the blockbuster 10-week leader ‘Dangerous: The Double Album.’
Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (dated March 18) with 501,000 equivalent album units earned in the United States in the week ending March 9, according to Luminate. It’s the largest week of 2023 for any album by units earned, the biggest since Taylor Swift’s Midnights debut with 1.578 million (week ending Oct. 27, 2022; chart dated Nov. 5, 2022) and the largest week for a country album since Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) opened with 604,500 (week ending Nov. 18, 2021; chart dated Nov. 27, 2021).
A hefty 76% of One Thing at a Time’s debut-week total was powered by streaming activity. The set’s 36 tracks collectively generated 498.28 million on-demand official streams in the U.S. in the album’s first week – marking the fifth-largest streaming week ever for any album, and the biggest ever for a country album.
One Thing at a Time was released March 3 via Big Loud/Mercury/Republic Records and is the follow-up to Wallen’s chart-topping effort Dangerous: The Double Album, released in January 2021. The latter spent 10 weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart and ranks at No. 6 on the latest list — its 110th nonconsecutive week in the top 10. It now solely has the second-most weeks in the top 10 in the list’s 67-year history, surpassing 109 weeks for the soundtrack to The Sound of Music. (The original cast recording of My Fair Lady holds the record for the most weeks in the top 10, with 173.)
One Thing at a Time was preceded by the release of nine songs from the album as far back as April of 2022. Four of those tunes topped Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart: “Don’t Think Jesus,” “Thought You Should Know,” “You Proof” and “Last Night,” the lattermost of which has reigned for four weeks running (through the most recently published March 11-dated ranking).
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new March 18, 2023-dated chart will be posted in full on Billboard‘s website on March 14. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Of One Thing at a Time’s 501,000 equivalent album units earned, SEA units comprise 382,000 (equaling 498.28 million on-demand official streams of the set’s 36 tracks), album sales comprise 111,500 and TEA units comprise 7,500. The album’s sales were powered by its digital download option (87,500; available as both a clean and explicit edition) while its double-CD (explicit only) sold 24,000. On the final day of the tracking week, the digital album was also offered in two alternative cover variants in Wallen’s official webstore for a discounted price. The set was not commercially released in any other formats.
One Thing at a Time has the second-largest week of 2023 by traditional album sales for an album, after the debut frame of TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s The Name Chapter: Temptation (152,000; chart dated Feb. 11). One Thing at a Time has the largest sales week for a country album since Red (Taylor’s Version) sold 369,000 in its first week (Nov. 27, 2021, chart).
As noted above, One Thing at a Time captures the fifth-largest streaming week ever for an album. The four largest streaming weeks for albums, by total streams earned, were all also debut frames. Drake’s Scorpion leads the pack, as it collected 745.92 million clicks for its 25 tracks in the week ending July 5, 2018. Scorpion is followed by the opening weeks of Drake’s Certified Lover Boy (743.67 million for its 21 tracks, week ending Sept. 9, 2021), Taylor Swift’s Midnights (549.26 million for its 20 tracks across its standard and deluxe editions, week ending Oct. 27, 2022) and Drake and 21 Savage’s Her Loss (513.56 million for its 16 tracks, week ending Nov. 10, 2022).
Certainly, the fact that One Thing at a Time has 36 songs helps its first-week numbers — as streaming activity for the chart is measured by taking the number of streams generated by each song on an album and adding them up to one overall total. Had the album been shortened to a length comparable to Drake’s 25-track Scorpion, it still would have had a big streaming figure. The top 25 most-streamed songs on One Thing at a Time generated 397.93 million on-demand official streams — which would made it the 10th-largest streaming week ever, and still the biggest among all country albums. Had One Thing at a Time’s tracklist been even shorter — as short as Drake and 21 Savage’s 16-track Her Loss, it still would have had a robust, but not quite as eye-popping, streaming start. One Thing at a Time’s top 16 most-streamed tracks collectively generated 294.65 million on-demand official streams — which would have ranked the set among the top 20 biggest streaming weeks of all time, though still the second-largest streaming week for a country album (behind the debut of Swift’s Red [Taylor’s Version], with 303.23 million for its 30 tracks).
In the last 12 months, One Thing at a Time has the most songs on its streaming album of any No. 1 on the Billboard 200, save for the 44-track Encanto soundtrack — although most of those 44 tracks are score and instrumental cuts, and the vast majority of the album’s streaming activity has come from the set’s nine focus songs, including the ensemble smash “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” Including Encanto, in the last 12 months, the average tracklist length for the streaming edition of a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 has been 19. If we remove Encanto from the math, that average falls to 18. In the last 12 months, only four No. 1 albums have had fewer than 12 songs — and all were K-pop projects, powered largely by CD album sales, not streams.
A few last notes about Wallen… he is the first male artist with back-to-back country No. 1s on the Billboard 200 since 2019, when Thomas Rhett notched his second No. 1 in a row with Center Point Road, following Life Changes in 2017. Further, Wallen has the largest week for any country album by a male artist since the Billboard 200 began tracking by equivalent album units in December of 2014. In fact, only one country album has posted a bigger week in that span of time — Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version), with 604,500 units in its debut week in 2021. (Country albums are considered those that have hit or are eligible for Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.)
Notably, since the Billboard 200 began measuring by equivalent album units in December 2014 (transitioning from an album sales-only methodology to a blend of album sales, SEA and TEA), only nine acts have registered a half-million units in a week for an album (with some having done so with multiple albums). They are: Adele, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and Wallen.
As No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, SZA’s SOS holds in place with 82,000 equivalent album units earned (down 5%). The set previously spent 10 nonconsecutive weeks atop the list. Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonito falls 1-3 in its second week with 60,000 units (down 36%).
Kali Uchis achieves her first top 10-charting album on the Billboard 200 as Red Moon in Venus debuts at No. 4 with 55,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, album sales comprise 28,000, SEA units comprise 27,000 (equaling 35.49 million on-demand official streams of the set’s songs) and TEA units comprise a negligible sum. The mostly-English-language project is the artist’s first album release since the breakthrough success of the mostly-Spanish-language single “Telepatía” in 2021 (from her last album, 2020’s Spanish-language Sin Miedo [Del Amor y Otros Demonios]). That track spent eight weeks at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs (her first leader there) and marked her first top 40-charting hit on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at No. 25 and spending 25 weeks on the list). Red Moon in Venus includes guest turns from Omar Apollo, Don Toliver and Summer Walker.
Six former No. 1s round out the top 10 of the new Billboard 200: Swift’s Midnights is stationary at No. 5 (48,000 equivalent album units earned, down 1%); Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album is a non-mover at No. 6 (46,000, down less than 1%); Metro Boomin’s Heroes & Villains is steady at No. 7 (40,000, down 4%); Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti rises 10-8 (39,000, up less than 1%); The Weeknd’s Starboy holds at No. 9 (35,000, down 13%) and Drake and 21 Savage’s Her Loss rises 11-10 (34,000, down 5%).