Frank Ocean’s surprise release of sophomore album ‘Blond’ debuts at No. 1, earning him his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. With 232,000 units sold in its first week, ‘Blonde’ marks the third-largest debut of 2016, behind Drake’s ‘Views (852,000 units) and Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ (485,000 units).
Although Ocean was signed to Def Jam, ‘Blonde’ was released independently, through an exclusive deal with Apple. Just one day prior, Ocean released his visual album ‘Endless,’ fulfilling his contractual obligation to Def Jam, thus making him a free agent. And because ‘Endless’ isn’t for sale and neither are its supporting tracks, it won’t make an appearance on the Billboard chart.
Still, this is great news for artists, showing even more evidence of artists being more in control of their music due to digital technology, than ever before. Congrats Frank!