Following a number 1 debut on the UK charts with his second album, Frank Ocean has repeated the feat on America’s Billboard charts.
Last week, Ocean’s Blonde (or Blond, as it’s also referred to) beat out Dolly Parton’s 43rd studio album to top the UK charts, with 32,000 combined sales (including 26,000 downloads).
Blonde has now also hit number 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with sales of 276,000 units in its first week. That’s the third-largest US debut of 2016, behind Drake’s Views and Beyonce’s Lemonade.
The album was four years in the making and follows Channel Orange, which was released in July 2012 to critical acclaim. It earned six Grammy Award nominations and won Best Urban Contemporary Album.
Amidst the release of Channel Orange, Ocean caused a sensation in the macho hip-hop world when he came out by posting a letter online revealing that he’d had a love affair with another man.
In a blog post following the Orlando massacre he also identified as part of the LGBT community, writing: “Many hate us and wish we didn’t exist. Many are annoyed by our wanting to be married like everyone else or use the correct restroom like everyone else.”
He has, however, chosen to avoid specifically labelling himself as gay or bisexual.
Blonde, which was released (exclusively on Apple’s iTunes Store) alongside a visual album and an art magazine, continues his refusal to be boxed in by any one sexual identity.
Watch the video for the first single, Nikes, below.