Beyoncé is the first woman to top US album charts in 2022 with ‘Renaissance’ | Big Indy News
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Beyoncé is the first woman to top US album charts in 2022 with ‘Renaissance’



Beyoncé’s just-released seventh album, ‘Renaissance’, has topped the Billboard 200 chart in the US, continuing her unbroken streak of albums debuting at Number One.

All seven of the artist’s studio albums have peaked in the top spot, however, the release of ‘Renaissance’ is notably significant in that it’s already become Bey’s highest-charting album in every major market. In addition to the US, it’s debuted at Number One in the UK, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. It’s likely to top the Canadian chart as well, however data for that is yet to be released.

‘Renaissance’ also came in at Number Two in Germany, beating her last album, 2016’s ‘Lemonade’, by one place. The only downtick in sales between ‘Lemonade’ and ‘Renaissance’ happened in Switzerland – ‘Renaissance’ debuted at Number Three, one spot below where ‘Lemonade’ peaked.

In its first week of domestic release, ‘Renaissance’ shifted 332,000 equivalent album units. As Billboard reports, this makes it the year’s biggest week for any record released by a solo female artist – massively usurping Lizzo, who formerly held the record with 69,000 units of ‘Special’ shifted in its first week – as well as the second biggest sales week altogether; Harry Styles’ latest, ‘Harry’s House’, shifted 521,000 units in its first week.

In terms of traditional album sales – whereby only full-album purchases (across both physical and digital platforms) are counted, with streaming numbers having no factor – ‘Renaissance’ shifted a total of 190,000 copies. 121,000 of those were CDs, while 43,000 sales came from digital downloads, and 26,000 from vinyl copies.

Billboard notes that 72 per cent of CD copies were sold online, and while the bulk of the album’s units were tracked from streaming numbers, ‘Renaissance’ still would have topped this week’s Billboard 200 on traditional sales alone. It also would have topped the chart without a single copy sold, given the insane numbers it did on streaming platforms. This week’s Number Two record, Bad Bunny’s ‘Un Verano Sin Ti’, shifted 104,000 units altogether.

With its 26,000 copies sold, the vinyl release of ‘Renaissance’ has become the highest-selling release of its kind – an R&B or hip-hop album released by a woman – since Luminate (which the Billboard 200 is based on) began tracking sales in 1991. The album is currently hard to find on the format – Bey’s webstore sold out of copies from the first pressing before it was released – however a second pressing will be released on September 16.

With the monumental sales week she’s had, Beyoncé is the woman to have an album top the Billboard 200 in 2022. The last record to achieve the feat was ‘30’ by Adele, which arrived last November. Notably, both ‘Renaissance’ and ‘30’ – and ‘Harry’s House’, for that matter – were released through Columbia Records.

In a four-star review of ‘Renaissance’ – which officially arrived on July 29 – NME’s Kyann-Sian Williams said Beyoncé’s latest album “continue[s] leading the charge to bring Black culture back to the forefront of house and dance scenes”. Among other fans of the album were Lil Nas X, who declared that ‘Renaissance’ is “kinda changing my life somehow”.

Since the release of ‘Renaissance’, Beyoncé has a four-track EP of ‘Break My Soul’ remixes as well as a standalone remix helmed by herself and Madonna. There’s also been a couple of controversies over the album, with Bey being forced to scrub an ableist lyric from the track ‘Heated’, and an interpolation of Kelis’ song ‘Milkshake’ from ‘Energy’.

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Sam Ryder discusses fronting Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes



Sam Ryder has told NME of his past fronting a Texan hardcore band called Close Your Eyes.

The pop star and UK Eurovision entrant is NME‘s Big Read cover star for Christmas 2022, and talked about his Number One album ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ as well as his journey to get there.

Ryder began playing in the band The Morning After as a teenager – he described their music as “Iron Maiden wannabe… not as good” – saying: “It was really fun. I have such fond memories of, like, thinking I was writing these songs that were going to change the world but [which] really weren’t.

“But that’s an important part of being in a band. I think when you’re that young, you’ve got to have that belief that you’re doing something good.”

After that, the singer linked up with Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes as their frontman. He explained: “I was a singer, songwriter [and] really part of those guys. And it was a hardcore punk band, which was something totally new for me.”

Of how he joined the band, Ryder went on: “I heard they needed a singer so I sent them a clip of me singing. In that scene, there are so many singers who are really great at screaming – you know, the hardcore punk vocals. I wasn’t necessarily great at that, but I was good at clean singing.”

He said he stood out as a candidate because “there weren’t as many strong clean singers on the scene. And I just thought, ‘I’ll deal with the screaming thing as and when it comes!’”

Discussing his stint on 2014’s Warped Tour with the band, Ryder told NME: “I was the only person on that tour who managed to shower every single day.

“The showers on that tour – they’re the grossest thing on earth, you don’t want to go near them,” he says. “So instead, I’d walk the perimeter of the stadium [we were playing at] and try to find a little faucet or a tap. I’d be rooting up the sprinkler system if I had to!”

This month (December 9), Ryder released his debut album, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’. Reviewing the album, NME wrote: “The odd well-intentioned platitude hardly spoils an album of killer choruses on which Ryder’s infectious likeability shines through at all times.

“Next time he might want to chuck in a few more curveballs, but for now, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ sounds like the beginning of what could be a really stellar career.”

Ryder has also revealed the impact a surfing accident had on his life. The accident happened when the Eurovision runner-up was on holiday in Hawaii four years ago, and led him to re-evaluate his life, pushing him to put more effort into his music career.

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Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock shares update on progress of solo music



Little Mix‘s Leigh-Anne Pinnock has shared an update on the progress of her first music as a solo artist.

The girl group went on indefinite hiatus earlier this year after their tour in support of their most recent album ‘Confetti’. Pinnock has since been preparing to embark on a solo career and has been working with the producer Hit-Boy, who has previously worked with Beyonce and Rihanna.

Now, Pinnock has said in a newsletter that she will give fans “as much music as I can” when it’s ready. “I’ve been working really hard on music that’s coming together slowly but surely. I’m so happy with what we’ve made so far but I know there’s much more to do,” she wrote.

“I’ve been so lucky to work with some incredible songwriters, producers and creatives so far and I can’t wait for you to hear what we’ve made.”

She added: “I’ve got some exciting projects I can’t wait to share with you all, and of course, I’ll be giving you as much music as I can as soon as it’s ready.”

Pinnock has also taken a step into the acting world. She appeared in the Christmas rom-com Boxing Day last year, which was the first UK Christmas film to feature an all-Black cast.

Speaking to NME about how Little Mix bandmates Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards reacted to the news, Pinnock said: “They were so happy for me. They’re going to be at the premiere. Honestly, they’re just so proud.

“We’re very supportive of what we all do individually and we all just want each other to win, because then we all win. It’s lovely and it’s going to be amazing having them there next to me supporting me. It’s going to be a very emotional night.”

Pinnock’s bandmate Jade Thirlwall is also going solo, having signed a global deal with RCA earlier this year.

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The Strokes discuss “magical” experience working with Rick Rubin on new album



The Strokes have discussed the “magical” experience of working with Rick Rubin on their upcoming new album.

  • READ MORE: The Strokes’ world-changing ‘Is This It’ at 20: “They had a ‘last gang in town’ mentality”

The band recently completed a recording session with the legendary producer in the mountains of Costa Rica. “We rented this house up on the top of a mountain and set the band up outside,” Rubin explained while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience.

“So they’re playing… It’s like they’re doing a concert for the ocean, on the top of a mountain,” he added. “It was incredible. And we did that every day, playing out in the [open], and they didn’t want to leave. It was, like, the best experience.”

Discussing the experience further in a new chat with Maxim, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. said: “I don’t think if I told you what it looked like and what it was, you’d fully understand the ‘magical-ness’ of where we were and how it was to record like that.

“It felt really touching that one of his favourite recording experiences was this one he just had right now.”

Of the band’s future, Hammond added: “I really think what excites me about wanting to play music and continue doing it is, I don’t think we’ve written our best songs yet. I really feel that in my gut.”

Rubin and The Strokes first joined forces in 2017, when they began working on ‘The New Abnormal’. The album was released in April of 2020 as their sixth full-length effort, supported by singles like ‘At The Door’, ‘Bad Decisions’, ‘Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus’ and ‘The Adults Are Talking’.

Elsewhere, the band recently announced plans to release a special vinyl box set featuring singles from their first three albums, B-sides and rarities.

‘The Singles – Volume 01’, which is released on February 24, 2023 via RCA Records/Legacy Recordings, features every 7 inch single from their 2001 debut ‘Is This It’, 2003 follow-up ‘Room On Fire’ and 2006’s ‘First Impressions of Earth’ as well as rare B-sides from the original single releases.

All ten singles will be pressed on black vinyl, with the artwork from each original release replicated in the package. It is available to pre-order here now.

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