Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter V’ Earns Second Biggest US Spotify Debut

Album cover | Young Money/Republic/Universal

Lil Wayne’s ‘Tha Carter V’ got off to a great start upon its Thursday night release at streaming and retail. The long awaited album quickly unseated Cher’s ‘Dancing Queen’ record for the pole position at US iTunes and sent the entirety of its tracklist to the top 23 slots on the Apple Music side by mid-day Friday.

As expected, the reaction was similar on Spotify. Led by heavily buzzed collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, XXXTentacion and Travis Scott, tracks from ‘Tha Carter V’ occupied the entire top 16 and all 23 record landed in the top 30. Combining data from all tracks, the album earned a healthy 49.5 million streams on its opening day on US Spotify.

That’s enough for the second largest debut in the history of the service, only behind the debut 80.5 million earned by Drake’s blockbuster ‘Scorpion’ in late June this year. ‘Tha Carter V’ notably outstrips albums such as Post Malone’s ‘beerbongs & bentleys’ (47 million), Travis Scott’s ‘ASTROWORLD’ (40 million) and Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ (34 million).

However, as contributor @alexanderao notes, ‘Tha Carter V’ is partially aided by its extended tracklist. With an average of 2.15 million streams per track, it ranks behind J. Cole’s ‘KOD’  (3 million average) and The Weeknd’s ‘My Dear Melancholy,’ (2.37 million) in addition to the four previously mentioned albums.

Here’s an updated look at the biggest album debuts on US Spotify:

Rank Artist Album Streams Streams per track Date achieved
1 Drake Scorpion 80,482,708 3,219,308 6/30/18
2 Lil Wayne Tha Carter V 49,469,116 2,150,831 9/28/18
3 Post Malone beerbongs & bentleys 47,148,623 2,619,368 4/27/18
4 Travis Scott ASTROWORLD 40,159,234 2,362,308 8/3/18
5 Drake More Life 36,043,593 1,638,345 3/19/17


According to HITS Daily Double, ‘Tha Carter V’ is currently pacing for a #1 bow in the United States with 475,000 to 525,000 units in its first week at retail (of which ~160,000 should be traditional album sales). However, it faces competition from Cher’s ‘Dancing Queen’ on the traditional sales side (155,000+) and a wildcard entry from Kanye West’s ‘YANDHI’, which will be unveiled Saturday evening.


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