July 19 brought with it the gift of ‘The Gift,’ the Beyonce-curated companion soundtrack album to Disney’s live action remake of ‘The Lion King’ (in which the Pop diva also stars).
Launched to the masses on the back of the anthemic tune, ‘Spirit,’ the opus – described as ‘sonic cinema’ and a ‘love letter to Africa’ – is drenched in the continent’s influence and not only features some of the region’s most prominent performers like Tiwa Savage, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, and Wizkid, but also calls on fellow Urban heavy-hitters such as husband Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, and more to contribute.
As it’s collected critical acclaim aplenty since its unveiling, industry insiders originally forecasted that fanfare would be mirrored commercially when it was projected the set would top next week’s Billboard 200 (as we reported here). With its inaugural sales tracking week behind it, however, new reports confirm it missed the mark.
Beyonce’s ‘The Gift’
First Week Sales (SPS): 54,000 [approximately]
First Week Sales (Pure): 11,000 [approximately]
Chart Placement (debut): #2
Congratulations are due to Beyonce for nabbing her 9th solo top 10 placement on the Billboard 200 as a solo artist, second in 2019 alone (following the April-released ‘Homecoming: Live Album’).
Landing at #2, ‘The Gift’ will rank as the highest charting ‘specialty project’ (i.e. live albums, tribute albums, extended plays, compilation albums) of her career to date, besting the #4 peak of the ‘Homecoming’ effort. [source]