One week after Rihanna scored her 12th No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Diamonds,” the diva earns her very first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart.
Her latest release, “Unapologetic,” opens atop the Billboard 200, selling 238,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The SRP/Def Jam set is her seventh studio release in a little over seven years and follows six earlier top 10 efforts. Rather infamously, until this week, Rihanna held the distinction of having the most No. 1 songs on the Hot 100 without having claimed a No. 1 album.
“Unapologetic,” released on Nov. 19, also gives Rihanna her best sales week yet for an album. (The SoundScan tracking week ends at the close of business every Sunday.) The new album’s arrival surpasses her previous best frame, racked when 2010′s “Loud” launched at No. 3 with 207,000.
Rihanna’s first release, “Music of the Sun,” debuted and peaked at No. 10 in 2005, followed by “A Girl Like Me” (No. 5, 2006), “Good Girl Gone Bad” (No. 2, 2007), “Rated R” (No. 4, 2009), “Loud” (No. 3, 2010) and “Talk That Talk” (No. 3, 2011). Additionally, she has charted with two remix albums “Good Girl Gone Bad: The Remixes” (No. 106, 2009) and “Rated R: Remixed” (No. 158, 2010).
It’s not unprecedented for an artist to score six top 10 albums without having had a No. 1. More than 25 acts have lodged six top 10s — without a No. 1. They range from Sting (10 top 10s, zero No. 1s) and Sheryl Crow (eight top 10s) to Brad Paisley (seven top 10s) and Rush (12 top 10s).
Rihanna’s lack of a No. 1 album only seemed to draw more attention, perhaps compared to her consistent performance as a singles artist. Since her arrival in 2005, she has tallied 12 No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 — tying her for the fourth-most of all time with Madonna and the Supremes. Only the Beatles (with 20), Mariah Carey (18) and Michael Jackson (13) have had more.