SZA Hits Whitney Houston’s Almost 40-Year Chart Record with Sophomore Album ‘SOS’

SZA Hits Whitney Houston's 40-Year Chart Record with 'SOS'
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R&B sensation SZA has hit Whitney Houston’s chart record set nearly 40 years ago with her phenomenal sophomore album SOS.

The Top Dawg Entertainment artist’s sophomore album topped the Billboard 200 chart for a seventh week in a row after earning roughly 111,000 album-equivalent units in the last week.

In doing so, SOS became the first R&B album to spend its first seven weeks at No. 1 since Whitney Houston’s Whitney released in 1987. At the time of its release, Whitney was the first R&B album by a woman to debut atop the chart.

Additionally, SZA’s SOS is the first album to achieve seven straight weeks at No. 1 since the Encanto soundtrack in March of 2022, which topped the chart for eight weeks in a row and nine in total.

Taylor Swift was the last woman to spend at least seven weeks atop the Billboard 200 with 2020 album entitled Folklore, which spent its first six weeks at No. 1 before logging two more non-consecutive weeks later in the year.

SOS is also the first album by a female artist to spend its first seven weeks at No. 1 since Adele’s album 25 released in 2016.


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SOS was released on December 9, 2022, ending a five-year wait for a new SZA album following her critically acclaimed debut album Ctrl. Featuring the likes of Travis Scott, Don Toliver and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the project opened at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 318,000 first-week units.

That figure included 404.58 million on-demand official streams, breaking the record for the biggest streaming week ever for an R&B album and becoming the second biggest streaming week for an album by a female artist.

During an interview with Rolling Stone in December, SZA discussed the main themes of SOS.

“I think this album was partially inspired by love lost, but mostly inspired by my departure from attempting to be a nice girl,” she said. “I’ve tried to be a nice girl for so long and it’s just not who I am, inherently.

“And I think I’ve done nice things and I am a kind person, but I’m not a nice girl. And that’s okay. And I think coming to terms with that and really expanding upon that and exploring that is kind of like this new chapter in my life.”

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