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Weeknd holds steady at top – Drake sells big

LOS ANGELES, Sept 22, (Agencies): Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd held steady at the top of the weekly US Billboard 200 album chart on Monday for a third consecutive week, keeping off five new entries in the top 10.

“Beauty Behind the Madness,” the second studio album by The Weeknd which features the hit “Can’t Feel My Face,” sold 48,000 albums, 245,000 songs and was streamed 39 million times, tallying 99,000 units in the week ending Sept 17, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

British alt-rockers Bring Me The Horizon entered the chart at No. 2 this week with its latest record “That’s The Spirit” selling 62,000 units, while country music singer Brett Eldredge’s “Illinois” debuted at No 3 with 51,000 units.

The Billboard 200 chart tallies album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).


Other new entries in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart this week includes metal group Slayer’s “Repentless” at No 4, singer-songwriter Gary Clark Jr’s “Story of Sonny Boy Slim” at No. 8 and veteran British rockers Duran Duran at No. 10 with “Paper.”

On Billboard’s Digital Songs chart, which measures online download sales, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber retained his hold on the top spot for a third week with his latest single “What Do You Mean?” selling 128,000 digital copies.

Rap superstar Drake, whose unexpected mixtape earlier this year became a top-seller, has dropped another surprise release — to an enthusiastic commercial response.

The Toronto rapper teamed up with Atlanta-based rising star Future to release a mixtape entitled “What a Time To Be Alive.”

The two rappers had been known to be collaborating with each other, but they released the mixtape at short notice late Sunday on Apple Music, where Drake is a key player.

The mixtape features a cover of glittering diamonds and has multiple references to precious gems as the rappers address their recent successes.

“Man, what a time to be alive,” each rapper says separately on “Big Rings.”

Drake starts the song by asking for a cash advance, despite his recent success.

“I got a really big team And they need some really big rings,” Drake raps, an allusion to sports teams’ jewelry for winning championships.

“I do not chase girls, but they run a mile for me,” Drake boasts.

Drake also uses a sports analogy to take on his critics — presumably including Meek Mills, a rapper who sparked controversy by charging that Drake did not write his own songs.

“Are we talking teams? … This game is different, you only get one shot,” Drake raps.

Drake in February put out a mixtape on his own, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” that has been the only album released this year to go platinum, defined as selling more than one million copies, in the United States.

Latin music stars including Carlos Santana and Pitbull on Monday launched a music video in celebration of immigrants, voicing alarm at the harsh turn of US political discourse.

“We’re All Mexican,” in English and Spanish with a Latin beat and mariachi brass, features images of famous Mexicans such as painter Frida Kahlo as stars say the song’s title.

With US and Mexican flags waving, the video also shows images of immigrants’ contributions to US society ranging from farm labor to Mexican cuisine.


Cuban-American producer Emilio Estefan led the initiative given the popularity in the Republican presidential nomination contest of tycoon Donald Trump, who denounced undocumented Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers.

“‘We’re all Mexican’ is a metaphor symbolizing that we can all become the victims of racism and bigotry at any moment,” said a statement accompanying the video.

Without referring directly to Trump, the statement denounced the vilification of Mexicans but said their situation was not unique.

“Around the world, different immigrant groups are harassed and made to be scapegoats for the ills of their respective countries of residence,” it said.

“The song celebrates the positive contributions of immigrants in the United States as a balance to the negativity being expressed publicly,” it said.

Stars involved in the song include the Cuban-American rapper Pitbull, Chicano rock legend Carlos Santana and Mexican American actress Eva Longoria.

Other stars in the project include Haitian-born rapper Wyclef Jean of Fugees fame and Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg.

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