Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ Earns the Biggest Billboard Debut of 2017


The music industry may be a streaming world these days, but Billboard’s latest album chart proves that good old-fashioned downloading counts a good deal too.

To no one’s surprise, Kendrick Lamar soared to No. 1 with his latest release, “DAMN.” (Interscope). The new album had the equivalent of 603,000 sales in the United States, according to Nielsen. That made it the biggest debut of the year, and the best week for any album since Drake’s “Views” came out a year ago with just over 1 million sales.

But in terms of streams alone — the latest and most important battleground of digital music — Mr. Lamar did not quite have this year’s best. Songs from “DAMN.” were listened to a total of 341 million times last week on services like Spotify and Apple Music, which was considerably less than the 385 million Drake had last month for the opening of his playlist More Life.”

What put Mr. Lamar ahead was the number of people who bought copies of the full album. “DAMN.” sold 353,000 copies as a complete unit, while “More Life” opened with just 225,000. According to the new rules of cross-format number crunching that now determine chart positions, that gave “DAMN.” the advantage in overall “equivalent units.”Perhaps anticipating this victory lap, Mr. Lamar on Monday announced North American tour dates for July and August, with a show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on July 20.

Also on the album chart this week, John Mayer opened at No. 2 with 120,000 sales and nearly 14 million streams of “The Search for Everything” (Columbia), while Drake’s “More Life” (Republic) is No. 3 and Ed Sheeran’s “÷” (Atlantic) is No. 4. The Chainsmokers’ “Memories … Do Not Open” (Columbia), last week’s best seller, falls to No. 5.

This article originally appeared on NY Times

John Mayer on How Katy Perry Relationship Inspired His New Music: ‘Who Else Would I Be Thinking About?


It’s been nearly four years since John Mayer released his most recent full-length album, Paradise Valley. Fortunately for Mayer’s fans, the wait for new music is over April 14, when The Search for Everything — which he has teased with two «waves» so far — drops in full.

In those first two waves of new material, Mayer has released eight tracks, three of which reveal something pretty personal about the 39-year-old: He’s not totally over Katy Perry.

If titles «Still Feel Like Your Man,» «You’re Gonna Live Forever in Me» and «Moving On and Getting Over» aren’t indicative enough that Mayer is feeling a sense of regret over a past relationship, he was pretty frank about the song’s subject in a new interview with The New York Times. «Who else would I be thinking about?»

Mayer was specifically talking about the track «Still Feel Like Your Man» (which features lines such as «I still keep your shampoo in my shower» and «Still think I’m never gonna find another you») — and while the song is certainly telling about his feelings, he stressed that it’s also a testament to the fact that Perry was his only serious relationship in the last five or six years. «That was my only relationship,» he added. «So it’s like, give me this, people.”

Not all eight of the songs in waves one and two of The Search for Everything revolve around heartbreak, but at least those three breakup tunes triggered Mayer’s emotional side. «There were times when tears came out of me, and I went, OK, John, this is not about an on-again, off-again relationship. This is something more profound.”

Since Perry and Mayer’s on-and-off relationship officially came to an end in 2015, Mayer says he uses an exclusive dating app from time to time, but «there are very few people actually meeting up.» Still, after recently becoming an uncle, he admits that he’s ready to settle down. «That’s the final frontier, man,» he said. And with his 40th birthday approaching this October, he acknowledged that he may be celebrating as a single man. «I wish there was somebody to throw me the 40th.»

He continued by confessing that he’d like to have a baby that would sit side-stage with his wife (protective earphones on, of course), also admitting that he’s wary about settling into another bachelor-pad-type residence. «I want to say, ‘We’ll take it,’» he said, adding, «I’m right on time for my career, and I’m running late for my life.»

Even if the album after The Search for Everything continues the narrative longing for Perry, Mayer insists that he’s not afraid to write vulnerable music about true events. And no matter the topic, it’s going to be him — and only him — writing the material.

 This article originally appeared on New York Times