Chris Brown Streams His Way to No. 1 With ‘Indigo’

The R&B singer Chris Brown reached No. 1 on the Billboard album chart this week with his new release, “Indigo,” while the rock band the Black Keys opened at No. 4 with their first album in five years, “Let’s Rock.”

“Indigo” (RCA) opened at the top with the equivalent of 108,000 sales in the United States, according to Nielsen. Like many artists these days, Brown offered copies of his album as part of sales bundles with concert tickets and merchandise, but the success of his album came largely from streaming. His total sales number, as computed by Billboard and Nielsen, includes 98 million streams and just 28,000 copies sold as a full album. (His streaming number may have been helped by the fact that the album contains 32 songs.)

While to much of the wider public Brown remains tainted by his arrest in 2009 for assaulting Rihanna — he was sentenced to five years’ probation and community service for that offense — Brown has remained consistently popular, particularly among R&B and hip-hop fans. His first two No. 1 albums — “F.A.M.E.” and “Fortune” — came in the years after that arrest, and his singles have frequently dotted the Top 10; “No Guidance,” a track from “Indigo” that features Drake, went to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and No. 5 on the R&B chart.

Also on the chart this week, Lil Nas X’s debut EP, “7,” holds at No. 2, while Billie Eilish is No. 3 with “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”

The Black Keys took an unusual stance opposing bundles for its new album, “Let’s Rock” (Easy Eye Sound), which may have affected its chart position. The album opened at No. 4 with the equivalent of 52,000 sales, which included 41,000 copies sold as complete albums.

Chance the Rapper is in fifth place with “Acid Rap,” a six-year-old mixtape, which he began offering as a commercial release at the end of June, in anticipation of a new album. “Acid Rap” had the equivalent of 40,000 sales, including 26 million streams and 18,000 sold as a complete collection.

Ben Sisario covers the music industry. He joined The Times in 1998, and has contributed to Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Press and WFUV. He also wrote “Doolittle,” a book about the Pixies. @sisario

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