This past year has been amazing year for music, especially for R&B. New wave R&B artists have been getting the recognition they deserve and rising to the top of the charts next to their more popular peers. In the digital age album sales seem to matter less and less, but they’re still a good indicator of an artist’s success and what the general public wants to hear.
We’ve compiled a list of the best selling albums of 2018 so far by R&B artists in terms of streaming and physical units sold. While it’s still early in the year, most of these artists have a proven track record of impressive album sales despite going head to head with streaming services.
Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
24K Magic is the first album by Bruno to enter the R&B and Hip Hop charts on Billboard, staying atop the R&B albums chart for 21 weeks. It is currently sitting at #1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums Chart. In September 2017 the album accumulated two million album-equivalent units in the United States. Five singles have been released so far, the title track, “That’s What I Like”, “Versace on the Floor”, “Chunky”, which had a limited release, and “Finesse”. After Mars took home 6 Grammy Awards earlier this month, his album sales spiked yet again making 24k Magic Bruno’s most successful album.
Justin Timberlake – Man of the Woods
Not much promotion went into this album prior to its release besides the release of the first single “Filthy” and the teasing of Justin Timberlakes Super Bowl performance. The album is named after his son Silas, whose name means “Man of the forest”. The album was released a day before the Super Bowl performance and it debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200. In its second chart week, Man of the Woods sold 74,000 total units, bringing its total album-equivalent units to 367,000 in the US.
Chris Brown – Heartbreak on a Full Moon
Heartbreak on a Full Moon is Chris Brown’s eighth studio album and his longest project to date. After selling 25,000 copies and earning 68,000 album-equivalent units within three days, Heartbreak on a Full Moon debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200. In January, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over 1,000,000 units in the United States. During an interview with Complex, Brown said:”I thought Heartbreak On a Full Moon was a depiction of what my soul wanted to say. It’s funny because we’re doing a double album. I’ve done so many records, but all of the records, to me, are personal favorites and I feel like it gets what I want to say across. It gives a vibe. You get nostalgia or you get a sense of individuality.”
Khalid – Teenage Dream
Khalid has enjoyed his break out year with immense success after the release of “Location”. His debut album American Teen released last year has seen a steady incline of sales in 2018. On October 24, 2017, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for combined sales, streaming and track-sales equivalent of one million units. By the end of 2017, American Teen had accumulated 1,220,000 album-equivalent units in the United States, with 147,000 being pure sales. The album is currently sitting at #2 on the Billboard R&B Albums Chart.
SZA – Ctrl
SZA needs no introduction as she completely dominated R&B music this past year with her official debut album Ctrl. The album probably did better than anyone at Top Dawg Entertainment had anticipated solidifying SZA as the next big thing in R&B. Ctrl debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, moving 60,000 equivalent-album units in its first full-tracking week. As of October 2017, the album has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for accumulating over 500,000 in album-equivalent units and pure sales. The album and its songs were nominated for four Grammy Awards, while SZA was nominated for Best New Artist.