Brockhampton Marks Its Mainstream Arrival With a No. 1 Album

Brockhampton, a California-based boy band, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart with “Iridescence.”
Credit...Matt Cowan/Getty Images for Coachella

Brockhampton, an unwieldy, self-proclaimed boy band born on the internet, has barnstormed into the mainstream with a No. 1 album.

“Iridescence,” the group’s major-label debut after three independent LPs and a smattering of digital mixtapes and singles, tops the Billboard 200 this week, earning 101,000 album equivalent units, including 79,000 in traditional sales and 29 million streams, according to Nielsen Music.

Brockhampton’s strong showing — without a hit single — follows a period of growing pains for the group, which signed a reported $15 million record deal with RCA earlier this year, and then lost a key member, Ameer Vann, in the wake of sexual abuse allegations.

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For “Iridescence,” the California-based collective, which features singers, rappers, producers and visual artists, used the now-common tactic of bundling the album with merchandise and concert tickets to increase sales. Such a strategy has proved especially effective for acts, like Brockhampton, that have prized consistent imagery and branding, and nurtured young, loyal fan bases online.

The group was challenged for the top spot by a more old-school model: Josh Groban, the pop-opera and adult-contemporary singer who has also appeared on Broadway, sits at No. 2 with his new album, “Bridges,” which relied largely on traditional sales (94,000) and was streamed just 1.5 million times. (The album was also bundled with concert tickets.)

The rest of the Top 5 features albums that have performed consistently on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Eminem’s “Kamikaze” is No. 3, with 65,000 units (57 million streams); Drake’s “Scorpion,” in its 13th week, is No. 4, adding another 63,000 units (81 million streams); and No. 5 is Travis Scott’s “Astroworld,” eight weeks on, with 57,000 units (76 million streams).