Beyonce Is Queen Once More, Secret Album Runaway No. 1

Selling 445,000 more copies than the No. 2 album in fewer days, the pop star is the first woman to reach the top slot with her first five studio albums

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In a surprise to nobody with an Internet connection, radio, TV or friend, Beyonce’s self-titled surprise album is officially No. 1 in the U.S.

It was never really a question that “Beyonce” was going to top the Billboard 200, with its 617,000 copies sold via iTunes in just three days — a feat good enough to break the Apple music-downloading platform’s one-week record. What was unknown until recently was the margin it would win by. The answer: A lot.

Last week’s No. 1 album, Garth Brooks’ “Blame it All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influence,” slipped to a very distant No. 2, despite seeing a 17 percent sales increase to 172,000, according to Billboard.

Also read: Attention Target Shoppers: You’ll Have to Buy ‘Beyonce’ at Walmart

With her chart-topping week, Beyonce becomes the first woman to reach No. 1 with her first five studio albums. Alongside rapper DMX, Beyonce is the only artist to debut their first five studio offerings in the top slot.

Brooks’ box set is available only at Walmart, while Beyonce’s 14-song, 17-video visual album is ending its exclusive iTunes run. Physical copies of the album should arrive in stores between Wednesday and Friday — though not every big music outlet is stocking their shelves.

“Beyonce” and “Brooks” will be alphabetically near each other in Walmart, though neither will be in major big box music retailer Target. The iTunes only sneak-attack release of “Beyonce” rubbed Target the wrong way. The store found the method to be unfair to physical retailers and is refusing to carry copies of the popular album.

Also read: Beyonce’s Secret Album Shatters 1-Week iTunes Sales Record

At No. 3 on the Billboard 200 this week is Kelly Clarkson’s holiday album “Wrapped in Red,” which sold 136,000 copies. R. Kelly’s “Black Panties” bowed at No. 4 with 133,000 copies moved, good enough to become his 15th top 10 album. One Direction rounds out the top 5 with 123,000 sales of “Midnight Memories.”

Other notable entertainment crossovers this week are “Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas,” which was next at No. 6 (108,000), and Childish Gambino (Donald Glover of “Community) at No. 7, scoring his best sales week (96,000) and highest chart spot with his second album, “Because the Internet.”