Madonna cha-cha-chas to ninth No. 1 album with Madame X
Madonna‘s 14th studio album — her first in over four years — has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, becoming the pop icon’s ninth studio set to hold the peak position in the United States.
The publication announced Sunday Madame X moved 95,000 equivalent album units (including 90,000 in pure sales, 4,000 streaming equivalent units, and 1,000 track equivalent units), nearly 31,000 more than this week’s No. 2 finisher, Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars.
Madonna has called Madame X a concept album centering on the titular persona, described as “a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identity, fighting for freedom, and bringing light to dark places.” The album — containing production from longtime Madonna collaborator Mirwaïs, Diplo, Mike Dean, and Billboard — sees Madonna engaging in political discourse, championing for gay rights, and asking Americans to “wake up” to the perils of gun violence that spills the “blood of innocents” in the country.
Madame X marks the 60-year-old’s ninth chart leader on the Billboard 200, following 2012s’ MDNA, 2008’s Hard Candy, 2005’s Confessions on a Dance Floor, 2003’s American Life, 2000’s Music, 1989’s Like a Prayer, 1986’s True Blue, and 1985’s Like a Virgin.
The set’s sales tally notches the fourth largest by a woman in 2019. She extends her position as the woman with the second-most No. 1 albums in the nation, trailing only Barbra Streisand’s 11 No. 1s. Among all artists, The Beatles have the most with 19 No. 1s, followed by Jay-Z’s 14, Springsteen and Streisand’s 11, Elvis Presley’s 10, and Madonna, Eminem, Garth Brooks, and The Rolling Stones’ nine, according to Billboard.
Billboard announced Friday Madame X‘s Maluma-assisted lead single “Medellín” had become Madonna’s 47th No. 1 on the Dance Club songs chart. She also preceded the album with promotional singles “Future” (featuring Quavo), “Crave” (featuring Swae Lee), “I Rise,” and “Dark Ballet.”
The entertainer previously raised eyebrows during the Madame X album cycle as she performed “Future” with Quavo at the 2019 Eurovision song contest in Tel Aviv, Israel — a set that saw Madonna’s dancers wearing the Palestinian and Israeli flags on their backs as they embraced, which was widely seen as a political statement on the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The performance concluded as the words “wake up” — which also feature prominently in “God Control — flashed on a giant screen behind the duo. In the wake of the stir, a representative for Madonna told EW that “a message of peace is not political.”
Madame X is available now on digital retailers and streaming services, and will be supported by an intimate, worldwide theater tour throughout 2020. The newest edition of the Billboard 200 chart will be released Tuesday in full.