Frank Ocean’s ‘blond’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200

After much delay and speculation, Frank Ocean released his newest project blond on August 20–two weeks after the original speculated release date.

The release, Frank Ocean’s first in four years, found itself sitting atop the Billboard 200 chart not even two weeks after its release–a rank that Billboard writes is “based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums.”

Originally having been waiting for the the release of boys don’t cry, fans weren’t expecting an album to be released with a name such as blond–blond being the French word for referring to a male with

Covert art for
Covert art for “channel ORANGE”

what is traditionally referred to as blonde hair. The album’s success wasn’t surprising as Ocean’s previous projects, nostalgia, ULTRA. and channel ORANGE have all previously been released to acclaim.

With information from Nielsen, Billboard reports blond found itself number one on the Billboard chart with 232,000 traditional album sales, 44,000 album streams and more than 65 million streams in the United States. Ocean, who was signed to Def Jam Recordings, released his album independently and used Apple to exclusively release it through their service–a tactic that has become a

Cover for
Cover for “nostalgia, ULTRA.”

lot more common in recent album releases.

blond is Ocean’s official release since channel ORANGE, but on August 18, Ocean released a 45-minute-long visual album–also available exclusively on Apple–titled Endless. The release was much like Beyoncé did with her visual album Lemonade, except she released the audio version of the album a couple of days later. According to Billboard, Ocean’s visual album cleared him of contractual agreements with Def Jam, allowing him to release blond as an independent artist on his own label Boys Don’t Cry.

Being able to release the album independently, Ocean sees more of a profit with its sales. Sources told FORBES that because Ocean released the album independently, he would be earning between $5 and $7.50 per sale. Him having released through his label allowed him, by FORBES’ calculations, to pull in an estimated $1 million in one week’s sales profit.

For 2016, Billboard reports that there have only been two other albums with a larger debut. The first, Drake’s Views which netted 852,000 sales and Beyoncé’s Lemonade which pulled in 485,000.


Hensley Carrasco
Hensley graduated from the University of Rhode Island where he was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, the Good 5 Cent Cigar. He founded the site with hopes to add to the ever-growing digital music newsroom. Hensley generally writes about Hip-Hop, but other genres are not out of his writing spectrum. On the side, Hensley is a photographer, specializing in concert photography.

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