Beyonce & JAY-Z vs. 5 Seconds of Summer for No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

Plus: XXXTentacion’s former No. 1 “?” may return to top five, Nas and Christina Aguilera also set for top 10 debuts.

The Carters’ Everything Is Love and 5 Seconds of Summer’s Youngblood are each vying for a No. 1 debut on next week’s Billboard 200 albums chart, according to industry forecasters.

Youngblood could launch with around 110,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 21. Meanwhile, due to the unique surprise release and staggered rollout of Everything Is Love, a first-week forecast is more difficult to pin down at the moment.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the June 30-dated Billboard 200 chart (where The Carters and 5 Seconds of Summer are slated to bow) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, June 24.

The husband-and-wife team of JAY-Z and Beyoncé, as The Carters, surprise-released Everything Is Love midday Saturday, June 16, S.C. Enterprises/Parkwood/Roc Nation. The album dropped without warning, and was initially only available to stream and purchase (as a digital album) through Tidal. By the morning of June 18, the set was widely available through subscription tiers on audio streaming services and digital retail outlets. It has not been announced if the album will be issued on CD or any other physical configuration.

The album will bow on the Billboard 200 from less than six full days of activity at Tidal, and only five days of activity at all other digital retailers and streamers.

Comparatively, 5 Seconds of Summer’s Youngblood will start on the list with a full seven days of activity, as the set arrived to market on June 15 (a Friday, the traditional day for new albums to be released).

The set -- the group’s third full-length studio effort -- was released One Mode/Capitol Records across all streamers and on CD, vinyl LP, digital download and even cassette. Youngblood follows 5 Seconds of Summer’s first two full-length studio sets: 2015’s Sounds Good Feels Good and its 2014 self-titled debut, both of which debuted at No. 1. The group also charted with a live set (LIVESOS, No. 13 in 2015) and an introductory EP (She Looks So Perfect, No. 2 in 2014).

Helping 5 Seconds of Summer are sales generated by merchandise/album bundles sold the group’s official site, as well as a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with its 2018 U.S. tour.

Youngblood was announced on April 9, and slated for a June 22 release. By June 1, that released date was pushed up to June 15.  

Youngblood was introduced by the single “Want You Back,” which bowed on Feb. 22. The cut reached No. 25 on the Pop Songs airplay chart, and was followed the set’s title track, which has so-far climbed to No. 31 (on the most-recently-compiled chart, dated June 23).

Elsewhere in next week’s top 10, watch for XXXTentacion’s former No. 1, ?, to return to the top five. The album is set for a big jump on the chart following the death of the rapper/singer on June 18, after he was shot in Deerfield, Florida. The set could collect over 80,000 units in the week ending June 21 – up from 19,000 in the frame ending June 14, according to Nielsen Music. The album debuted at No. 1 on the March 31-dated list, marking his first leader.

Also in next week’s busy top 10: both Nas’ NASIR and Christina Aguilera’s Liberation should arrive in the region. Both could start with between 70,000 to 75,000 units. If the albums bow in the top 10, they will garner Nas his 11th top 10, and Aguilera her seventh.