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Chart Watch: With Niall Horan at No. 1, 1D ties the Beatles

Paul Grein
Niall Horan became the third member of One Direction to score a No. 1 album, as the singer’s solo debut, Flicker, debuted atop the Billboard 200.

Niall Horan becomes the third past or present member of One Direction to land a No. 1 solo album as Flicker enters the Billboard 200 in the top spot. Zayn’s Mind of Mine debuted at No. 1 in April 2016, and Harry Styles’s Harry Styles opened at No. 1 in June of this year.

Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon all topped the album chart in a 17-month period between May 1970 and October 1971. Zayn, Styles, and Horan have achieved the feat in a 19-month period starting in April 2016.

The solo Beatles were a bit older than the solo 1D members when they landed their first No. 1 albums as solo artists. McCartney and Harrison were both 27. Lennon was 31. By contrast, Zayn and Styles were both 23. Horan is 24. (Of course, the Beatles had been together longer than 1D when they started releasing solo albums.)

Flicker includes both of Horan’s top 20 hits, “This Town” and “Slow Hands.” Flicker is the first album by a 1D alum to spawn two top 20 (or even top 40) hits. The fact that Horan’s hits are so different — a heartfelt pop ballad and a funky, rhythmic tune — says a lot about his versatility.

With Horan hitting No. 1 in the same calendar year as Styles, this is the first time that two past or present members of a group have hit No. 1 on their own in the same calendar year since 2006, when two former members of Destiny’s Child achieved the feat. LeToya Luckett’s LeToya debuted at No. 1 that August, six weeks before Beyoncé’s B’Day debuted at No. 1.

Two former Beatles each had No. 1 albums on their own in the same calendar year three times. Harrison’s triple-disc opus All Things Must Pass spent seven weeks at No. 1 in January and February 1971. Lennon’s Imagine spent a week at No. 1 that October. McCartney and Wings’s Red Rose Speedway had three weeks at No. 1 in June 1973. Harrison’s Living in the Material World replaced it at No. 1 in June, staying on top for a total of five weeks. McCartney and Wings’s Band on the Run had four nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 from April to July 1974. Lennon’s Walls and Bridges hit No. 1 that November.

Note: I’m not counting “supergroups” such as Traveling Wilburys. Three members of that group — Harrison, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty — have landed No. 1 albums.

Flicker enters the Official U.K. Albums Chart at No. 3. It failed to match the solo debut albums by Zayn and Harry Styles, both of which reached No. 1 in the U.K.

The other two founding members of 1D, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, have yet to release their first solo albums.

Top Songs

Post Malone’s “Rockstar” (featuring 21 Savage) logs its third week at No. 1 on the Hot 100. “Rockstar” also holds at No. 1 for the fourth week on the Official U.K. Singles Chart. It’s the third song to spend three or more weeks at No. 1 in both the U.S. and the U.K. so far this year. It follows Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Justin Bieber).

“Rockstar” also logs its third week at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” holds at No. 2 in its 17th week. The song logged three weeks at No. 1.

Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” (featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid) holds at No. 3 in its 26th week.

Portugal the Man’s “Feel It Still” holds at No. 4 in its 19th week. The song is No. 1 on Top Rock Songs for the fifth week.

Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” holds at No. 5 in its 26th week.

Demi Lovato’s “Sorry Not Sorry” inches up from No. 7 to No. 6 in its 16th week.

Camila Cabello lands her second top 10 hit as a solo artist as “Havana” (featuring Young Thug) jumps from No. 20 to No. 7 in its 11th week. “Bad Things,” her collabo with Machine Gun Kelly, hit No. 4 in February. This is Young Thug’s first top 10 hit.

J Balvin & Willy William’s “Mi Gente” (featuring Beyoncé) drops from No. 6 to No. 8 in its 17th week.  Three weeks ago, it tied Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” as Beyoncé’s highest-charting featured credit. “Telephone” reached No. 3 in April 2010.

Sam Smith’s “Too Good at Goodbyes” dips from No. 8 to No. 9 in its seventh week. The song has climbed as high as No. 5.

Ed Sheeran lands his sixth top 10 hit as “Perfect” jumps from No. 18 to No. 10 in its ninth week.

French Montana’s “Unforgettable” (featuring Swae Lee) and Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” drop out of the top 10 this week.

Taylor Swift lands her 39rd top 20 hit on the Hot 100 as “Gorgeous” debuts at No. 13. Only two female solo artists have had as many or more top 20 hits. Madonna leads with 44, followed by Rihanna with 42.  “Gorgeous” sold 68K digital copies, which enables it to enter Top Digital Songs at No. 1. It’s Swift’s 14th No. 1 on that chart, which puts Swift in a tie with Rihanna for the most No. 1 hits in the chart’s history (which dates to October 2004).

Kane Brown’s “What Ifs” (featuring Lauren Alaina) is No. 1 for the third week on Hot Country Songs. “What Ifs” is the first collaboration to top the country chart since Kenny Chesney’s “Setting the World on Fire” (featuring P!nk) a year ago.

Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” tops the 1 million mark in digital sales this week. The song was Lamar’s first No. 1 hit as a lead artist.

Top Albums

Future and Young Thug’s collaborative mixtape, Super Slimey, debuts at No. 2.  It’s Future’s eighth top 10 album, Young Thug’s fourth. Young Thug is featured on Camila Cabello’s terrific new hit, “Havana.”

P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma drops from No. 1 to No. 3 in its second week.

Post Malone’s Stoney holds at its No. 4 peak in its 46th week.

Chris Young’s Losing Sleep debuts at No. 5. It’s his fourth consecutive nonholiday studio album to crack the top five. The album enters Top Country Albums at No. 1, displacing Jessie James Decker’s Southern Girl City Lights. It’s Young’s second No. 1 country album.

Gucci Mane’s Mr. Davis drops from No. 2 to No. 6 in its second week.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ dips from No. 6 to No. 7 in its 34th week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1.

Darius Rucker’s When Was the Last Time debuts at No. 8. It’s his fifth consecutive nonholiday studio album to crack the top 10. Rucker also had three top 10 albums with Hootie & the Blowfish.

Lil Uzi Vert’s first full-length album, Luv Is Rage 2, drops from No. 5 to No. 9 in its ninth week. The album debuted at No. 1.

Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me rebounds from No. 13 to No. 10 in its fourth week, fueled by the success of “Sorry Not Sorry.” The album debuted and peaked at No. 3.

Five albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Beck’s Colors drops from No. 3 to No. 36. Lil Pump’s Lil Pump drops from No. 9 to No. 12. Imagine Dragons’ Evolve drops from No. 7 to No. 11. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie’s The Bigger Artist drops from No. 8 to No. 15. St. Vincent’s Masseduction tumbles from No. 10 to No. 95.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits holds at No. 17 in its 238th chart week. Greatest Hits holds at No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums for the fifth non-consecutive week.

The Moana soundtrack drops from No. 33 to No. 38 in its 49th week. The album peaked at No. 2. It’s No. 1 on Top Soundtracks for the 27th week.

George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice/MTV Unplugged debuts at No. 41. The original Listen without Prejudice, Vol. 1, which contained the hit singles “Praying for Time” and “Freedom! ’90,” peaked at No. 2 in October 1990. (It couldn’t get past M.C. Hammer’s blockbuster Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em.) The new package enters the Official U.K. Albums Chart at No. 1. It’s the second deluxe reissue of a vintage album to top the U.K. chart so far this year. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band achieved the feat in June. The original Listen Without Prejudice hit No. 1 in the U.K. in September 1990.

Nickelback’s 2005 album All the Right Reasons tops the 8 million mark in traditional album sales this week. The album debuted at No. 1 and spawned three top 10 singles (“Photograph,” “Far Away,” and “Rockstar”). Nickelback gets beat up by the critics. But, as you can see, they have a fan base.

Coming Attractions: Look for Kenny Chesney’s Live in No Shoes Nation to debut at No. 1 next week. Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life is on track to debut at No. 2. Also vying for top 10 debuts: Big K.R.I.T.’s 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time, Ty Dolla Sign’s Beach House 3 and Yo Gotti’s I Still Am.