This week, Janelle Monae earns her first No. 1 album on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart for her Dirty Computerwhich premiered at the tail end of last month. Pushing 54,000 equivalent album units in its first week, the project turned out to be the third-biggest opening of the week ending in May 3rd, following behind Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleysand country singer Keith Urban’s Graffiti U.
A handful of singles from the album, which also find themselves on the hot R&B Songs chart, have helped in getting Monae a boost. Tracks include “Make Me Feel,” which peaked at No.9, the Grimes-assisted “Pynk” (No. 21) and “I Like That” which hit No. 24 this month.
Last week, Monae’s project entered the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart at No. 6 for its movements. This new effort follows behind her 2013 Electric Lady which peaked at No. 2 on the R&B charts. While the time gap in between the two offerings seems significant, everything Monae has done up until this point has been a deliberate choice to maintain the carefully curated image she has grown into.
“There have been times where people have tried to encourage me to go in another direction; to something that people could understand or that was more popular,” she told Billboard in a recent talk. “For me, it’s never been about overnight fame: it’s about taking a journey that might not be often taken, and in doing so, being an example of the belief that we don’t all have to take the same coordinates to reach our destination.”