Ariana Grande Streams Her Way to a Fifth No. 1 With ‘Positions’

Ariana Grande takes the top spot on the Billboard album chart for a fifth time with her latest release, “Positions,” cementing her role as one of the queens of streaming.

“Positions” is Grande’s third No. 1 in just over two years, opening with nearly 174 million streams, according to Nielsen Music. That is more than any album by a woman since Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” started with 290 million in July. Altogether, “Positions” was credited with the equivalent of 174,000 sales, counting 42,000 sold as a complete package.

Of Grande’s six studio albums, all but one has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s chart — back in 2016, “Dangerous Woman” was held at No. 2 by Drake’s epochal “Views.”

Grande, 27, has established herself as one of pop’s masters of streaming, keeping herself in front of listeners with a steady flow of content. Although her last album, “Thank U, Next,” was released about 20 months ago, in the meantime she has appeared in singles with Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Social House, along with a song for the latest “Charlie’s Angels” reboot with Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey.

Yet “Positions” — whose title track came out two weeks ago, with a music video set in the White House with President Grande leading a fully diverse cabinet — had a lower streaming total than “Thank U, Next,” which opened in February 2019 with 307 million clicks.

The success of “Positions” is also a victory for Grande’s label, Republic Records, a division of the giant Universal Music Group. Republic’s artists — among them Swift, the Weeknd, Lil Wayne and Pop Smoke — have held the No. 1 spot for 17 weeks so far this year, well more than any other label.

Among other new releases this week, the rapper-slash-singer Trippie Redd landed at No. 2 with “Pegasus,” and Sam Smith’s “Love Goes” started at No. 5. “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon,” a posthumous album by the New York rapper Pop Smoke that has held strong on the chart since July, is No. 3.

Last week’s chart topper, Luke Combs’s “What You See Ain’t Always What You Get” — a reissue of his year-old album “What You See Is What You Get,” with some extra tracks — fell to fourth place.

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