Drake ends Sheeran’s Billboard 200 reign, smashes streaming record

Drake performs during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Drake ended Ed Sheeran’s two week reign atop the Billboard 200 album chart on Monday, selling a monster 505,000 copies of his new album “More Life,” according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

The Canadian rapper, the world’s best-selling artist of 2016, took the No. 1 spot, setting a new streaming record and bringing home the biggest U.S. sales week for any album since his 2016 release “Views.”

Nielsen said 257,000 units were earned from streaming, beating Drake’s previous record-setting 163,000 streaming units for “Views.”

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

Drake’s new release pushed British singer-songwriter Sheeran’s “Divide” into second place on the Billboard 200 with some 118,000 units sold.

Rapper Rick Ross landed in the No.3 spot with his new album “Rather You Than Me.”

Sheeran however remained top of the digital songs chart, which measures online single sales, thanks to “Shape of You,” which sold another 97,000 units in its 11th week on the chart.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Andrew Hay)