Stormzy’s hotly anticipated album Gang Signs & Prayer is leading the way on what is shaping up to be a very close race for Number 1 on this week’s Official Albums Chart.
Since its release last Friday, the British MC’s debut collection has charged to the top spot on today’s Official Chart Update with a narrow lead of less than 2,000 over Rag’n’Bone Man’s Human at 2.
There is a marked difference in the way both albums are being consumed so far this week. The majority of Gang Signs & Prayer’s sales are coming from digital downloads (making up 58% of its sales so far), compared to 23% physical CDs and almost 20% on streaming. By comparison, Human continues to boast strong physical sales (75%) compared to downloads (23%) and streams (less than 3%).
Last week’s BRIT Awards is taking full effect on the chart as three albums head back to the Top 10. George Michael’s Ladies & Gentlemen leaps 11 to 4 following a tribute to the late star at the ceremony, while performer Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic rebounds from 12 to 5 and British Female Solo Artist winner Emeli Sande lifts 28 to 9 with Long Live The Angels.
Meanwhile, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe’s Together album looks set to return to the Top 40 this week after their performance on the final of the BBC’s Let It Shine over the weekend, up 26 places so far to 17.
Further down, six more new albums could be landing inside the Top 40 this week. US folk singer Rhiannon Giddens opens at 22 with her second solo album Freedom Highway, while Future’s sixth album and second release in as many weeks HNDRXX starts at 23.
Finally, Little Big Town’s The Beaker (30), Thundercat’s Drunk (31), Roy Orbison’s Black & White Night 30 (39) and Los Campesinos’ Sick Scenes (40) could all earn a Top 40 placing this Friday.