Billie Eilish makes chart history with debut album

Eilish's mesmeric WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? debuts at No. 1 and places her among pop's elite

Billie Eilish, photo by Ben Kaye

    Billie Eilish, who we crowned our 2018 Rookie of the Year, has officially made history with her debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?.

    The 17-year-old singer debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after moving a total of 313,000 album units in the first week of its release. This makes her the youngest woman to claim the top spot since 2009, a record previously held by Demi Lovato. Speaking of age, Eilish is the first artist born in the 2000s to hit No. 1.

    Of the 313,000 units, 170,000 of those were pure album sales, resulting in the second-largest sales week for an LP in 2019 and the largest sales week for a female artist. (Backstreet Boys has Eilish beat with their DNA release.)


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    Her historic presence in the pop canon, especially when it comes to the female pop elite, can’t be stressed enough. On-demand streaming numbers for WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP  tallied to nearly 200 million, marking the third-biggest streaming week for an album ever. As Billboard notes, the LP also ushered in her entry into the “300,000 Club,” as its just the seventh album in history to pull in more than 300,000 units. She joins other now-classic pop records like Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, Adele’s 25, and Taylor Swift’s 1989 to have achieved the feat.

    Much of Eilish’s demographic not surprisingly skews young, and she’s massive across all social media platforms and other digitally-native mediums. Eilish herself has never even bought a physical CD. Despite all this, 15,000 vinyl copies of WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP were sold in the album’s huge opening week. It’s just the second record by a woman to notch such numbers; Eilish is bested only by Adele’s 25. (Grab Eilish’s album on vinyl by heading here.)

    It’s worth repeating: All of this, and WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP is only Eilish’s debut album. And, all numbers aside, she has also garnered the backing of those well beyond the pop world, tracking in high praise from Dave Grohl and nods of approval from Thom Yorke.


    If you still need further convincing, perhaps peep an excerpt from our glowing review:

    Whatever missteps there may be, Eilish’s commanding, yet vulnerable, performances easily overcome them to create one of the best debut albums of the young year. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is the tongue-in-cheek bad-guy album Taylor Swift wished she had made with Reputation. While she hasn’t quite inherited the pop monarchy from Swift and the other elites, Eilish’s debut makes a strong case that it won’t be long until we see her in a crown.

    To support her first-ever full-length, next month Eilish will launch her “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP Tour”, featuring rapper Denzel Curry and brother Finneas. She’s also expected to perform at a long list of festivals, including Coachella this weekend, and later at European fests including Reading and LeedsGlastonburyPukkelpop, and Lollapalooza Stockholm. Find tickets to her upcoming gigs by heading here.

    Revisit her video for “bad guy”: