Ann Powers: No game-topping artist in 2022 regularly earns as many flowers as Beyoncé. She's so undefeated that the narrative at this point is almost tedious: Every few years she releases a major project that not only shows her undiminished prowess as a vocalist, writer, producer and all-around star, but creates a new rulebook by which her peers' work will be judged. From her meta-confessional masterwork Lemonade to her pan-African projects to the multimedia epic Homecoming, she's expanded pop auteurism in ways that inspire not just admiration but awe.
That's why it's no surprise that her dance music fantasia RENAISSANCE — a pandemic-era lark, she stated upon its release, designed to allow her to "be free of perfectionism and over-thinking" — is topping not only NPR Music's Best Albums list but many more, becoming the most highly lauded album of 2022.
She's accomplished this without the usual industry-mandated flourish of visuals, aside from a handful of photographs culminating in a stunning cover shot in an equestrian pose that's both mythic and redolent of the museum-worthy works she and her husband love to collect. The neo-classical framework the album's title provides works to communicate both its mission — to honor dance music's lineage of queer, mostly Black DJ's, producers and divas as Old Masters equal to any Beatle — and her own role, as the head of a guild herself, overseeing myriad collaborators to put their own marks on the canvas of her work.
With RENAISSANCE, Beyoncé has given us something beyond her personal story, or even the wide-opening interface between that story and Black history as shaped by migration, racism and resistance. She's created a detail-rich panorama inspired by the living history of that sacred space, the club. It's her Sistine Chapel, and it deserves to be discussed that way — as a star-filled imaginary sky, and an origin myth that comes to life through its brilliant brush strokes. To really appreciate it is to focus on its remarkable design, the way it sounds and feels different depending on one's perspective. Listening this way, what comes to the fore is its stunning detail, etched by many hands. Rather than a set of bangers (which, of course it is), RENAISSANCE can be experienced as a seemingly inexhaustible text, each portion connecting to the other to evoke moments in time whose impact is timeless.
To honor this magnificence, I convened with two of the best music writers I know — Daphne A. Brooks and Danyel Smith — to share their favorite fine points in this stunning fresco, starting out with the moments that thrill us, stop us in our tracks, add up to the creation myth that is RENAISSANCE.
Daphne A. Brooks: "Migration, (anti)racism and resistance" themes are all over RENAISSANCE, like strong, rippling undercurrents that burst to the surface in some of my favorite moments on the record. We hear the Texas-meets-New Orleans hubris and tenacity of an artist who knows what Black folks on the move — what Black women on the move — have delivered to the world artistically and otherwise by way of their bodies as it rings through the revolutionary looseness of the "Church Girl" line, "Twirl that ass like you came up out the South girl." We hear it in the signature and nuanced forms of attention she gives to Blackness as an experience of distinct and high value, via an archival sound byte from late great theater practitioner and grassroots activist Barbara Ann Teer ("We dress a certain way, we walk a certain way, we talk a certain way.... All of these things we do in a different, unique, specific way that is personally ours..."). Moments like this are a response to racism: to stretch ourselves out far beyond the confines of this wretched world and to draw on our prodigious powers as a people, to "reach out," as she sings on "Alien Superstar," "to the solar system ... flying over bulls***" and in pursuit of a "supernatural love." Love — self-love, love between intimates, love of community, gloriously passionate sexual connection, the euphorically free body — these are all building blocks of resistance on the record.
The moment when she hits the peak of the pre-chorus in "Church Girl" with that devastatingly forthright declaration, a simple utterance that we, nevertheless, rarely hear articulated so bluntly and yet simultaneously with so much swift and fluid vocal dexterity and poetry. It's the moment when she puts everyone on notice, letting everyone know, "I was born free." Listening to the way that she turns "born" into a glorious glissando remains the most arresting moment for me in a series of arresting moments on RENAISSANCE. Through her reading of that one word, Beyoncé is able to take us on an entire trip through Black women and Black peoples' history of subjugation, emancipation and the ongoing project to name the terms of our own liberation. It's only after that baptismal moment of self-reclamation that, as "Church Girl" reminds us, we are able to let ourselves go and ride a thick, incessant beat that demands of us to drop it low.
Danyel Smith: I love pop and the pop-pop-poppiest moment of RENAISSANCE is not so much a part of a song but the virality of "Cuff It," and the dance challenges, the line dances, Nicole Scherzinger making "Cuff" moves in formal wear, Kelly Rowland swerving deep in her bucket hat, the wedding moments — all of this without, mind you, Beyoncé having provided a video (a la the 2009 "Single Ladies" dance phenomenon). The whole world is a Soul Train line. The club is in your apartment's foyer, on the gravel of your driveway, on the escalator at the mall. I'm in the mood to f*** something up! We gon' f*** up the night! A call from the Queen to drink and be merry, because tomorrow we ride at dawn.
Ann Powers: RENAISSANCE touches down in 1970s disco with Nile Rodgers, Chicago house with Green Velvet, bounce with Big Freedia, and those are just the most obvious examples of its time-traveling. If you had to live in a historical moment with Bey via RENAISSANCE, what would yours be? I'll start: I love the shimmering Janetisms of "Plastic Off the Sofa," which takes me back to The Velvet Rope's "My Need," while also somehow putting me in the middle of a roller disco slow dance, skating backward under the starry lights while the Bee Gees' "More Than a Woman" plays in the background. And, of course, it's cowritten by the Internet's Syd, whose own skin-tingling music has brought the shimmering sex ballad into the 21st century. No samples on that song, but it conjures a Milky Way of memories.
Daphne A. Brooks: I'm here for the time-traveling — especially as I'm settled back in at home in the San Francisco Bay Area for the holidays (shout out to my fellow "yay-Arean" D. Smith!) with family and thinking about my 1970s childhood, shaped in great part culturally by my older sister Renel's teen musical obsessions: Soul Train, American Bandstand, Saturday Night Fever, Donna Summer, Chic and Sister Sledge. How can I hear something like that smooth-as-butter, light-as-a-feather, Nile Rodgers co-produced joint "Cuff It" and not be transported back to tennis-shoe roller skates, satin jackets, weekend birthday parties at the rink. I know my grade school, post-Civil Rights self had the privilege of taking for granted what a miracle it was to live in a period in which Black women artists not only saturated the fabric of our everyday world but also dominated the pop and not just soul and R&B charts. RENAISSANCE takes us back to that place, among others, reclaims that moment and draws as a "don't f*** with my sis'" throughline to our current pop time and place.
Danyel Smith: I want to go back to Beyoncé's own 2003 debut because I've felt a Donna Summer aura glowing around Beyoncé ever since I saw the album cover (shot by Markus Klinko). Beyoncé has on the famous diamond crop top — it looks built with shards of a shattered disco ball. Plus, the fourth (platinum; produced by Scott Storch) single from Dangerously in Love, "Naughty Girl" is a loud, juicy precursor to all of the '70s energy of RENAISSANCE — Beyoncé interpolates the hook from Summer's revolutionary 1975 "Love to Love You Baby" as if she heard it in the womb — which, likely, she did.
Daphne A. Brooks: Another hypnotic and irresistible '70s citation on the record: Catch the Afro-Greek chorus (this is how I'm referring to it!) on "Cuff It" chiming in along with her and announcing that "We gettin' f***** up tonight..." I hear George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, masters of the funk ensemble vocals drenched in sly choral play, nimble reinterpretations of church sounds reimagined in rebelliously secular contexts. I often think of this sound as the funk "Afro-Greek" chorus that was all around me as a child growing up listening to KSOL in the 1970s. It's the sound of a fleet and mobile collective peoples offering shrewd and sage wisdom and candid commentary about Black life playing through the changes, finding a way to get around obstacles that seem "so wide you can't get around it / so low you can't get under it / so high you can't get over it..." and then perpetually finding ways to do just that through our genius music.
Can I pick more than one though? "All Up in Your Mind" is giving such good Gary Numan 1979 "Cars" eighth-grade vibes for me. I remember how "Cars" was the only "rock" song that my fellow Black schoolmates in my fraught integrated junior high experience copped to as being their jam. The British New Wave moment of the late '70s and early '80s offered a different take on the alien vocals that Roger and Zapp and p-funk (remember "Sir Nose?") dropped on us. It was a different kind of syntheticism and robotic drama (although adjacent to all of those gorgeous young Black and brown folk moving down the Soul Train line and busting out "the robot" moves). I have no desire to go back to the 1980s dawn of the Reagan disaster, but I do love love love how this track leans into its own form of Afrofuturism culled from this era.
Ann Powers: I love that you pulled out that memory! "Cars" was a favorite song of many early hip-hop artists, and later, of trip-hop pioneers like Tricky. There she goes, making connections; like Beyoncé projects of the past decade, RENAISSANCE deserves its own syllabus. (Shoutout to Candice Benbow for creating the first one!) This album is all about the details, which she drops incessantly, both in her lyrics and via the samples and sounds that form these songs. If you were to metaphorically drop the needle on a gesture that epitomizes the Beyoncé that builds universes, what would it be? I think I'd share "Heated," not only for its image of Bey compromising her manicure by tapping out beats on an Akai MPC drum machine, but for that little arch in her voice when she sings, "I gotta fend myself off," just a hint of an affected English accent. It's like she's waving her hand toward every mother who's spun and dipped her way across a Harlem ballroom.
Daphne A. Brooks: Can we even think of ANY other artist right now who deftly and assuredly and intelligently takes on such a vast array of voices on one record? Really serious about this. Taylor Swift, Adele, Ariana? Or, for that matter, Drake or her hubby — the whole lineup of superstar pop folk of the 21st century. Show me someone else who effortlessly makes use of such a thick (thique!) vocal palette and range — and not just to flex and flaunt (though why wouldn't she with skills this murderous?) but to tell stories in vivid color and multi-faceted detail. This is an artist who can shift at the drop-of-a-hat from classic R&B serenades that recall the goddess Minnie Riperton (Ann, that's what I hear in "Plastic Off the Sofa") to the Afrobeat, MC-rocking-the-mic energy that carries us out of "Heated" to the diasporic dancehall "bump and growl" inspired by legendary Grace Jones, who herself makes a swagger-ific entrance on the straight-out-the jungle "Move." By the time we hear her low-register, tricked out persona on the "dark trap" (I'd call it Black goth) house track "Thique," we're living in the multitudes of Blackness with her.
This is why, honestly, the great and wondrous Donna Summer is such a touchstone for RENAISSANCE — not just because of the fact that she is our all-time disco empress. The connection to Summer-time is most resonant for me in the multiplicity of ways that Beyoncé produces, arranges, repurposes and improvisationally pushes her vocals to run all over the pop map. Recall that Donna Summer, the Boston native who dabbled in blues rock band singing, the trans-Atlantic musical theater vet, was not just the icon who sang us through our "Last Dance," not just the expat based in Germany who teamed up with Giorgio Moroder to deliver a boundary-pushing sensual manifesto that captured the zeitgeist of the sexual revolution. She was a pop cosmopolitan who went to places with her voice that folks never expected of Black women. I'm thinking of one of my favorite deep-cuts, the title track off her 1980 album The Wanderer, in which our Summer genius gives complete Elvis in a song that encapsulates the audacity of her sonic roaming. This is the Summer that I hear all over RENAISSANCE, pushing through the soft bigotry of pop industry ceilings placed upon Black women artists. It's as though Beyoncé is saying to us, let's "go missing together" and sing ourselves onto new planes of erotic wonder and self-possession.
Danyel Smith: My moment is within "Break My Soul," a song which literally breaks my soul daily because it's a cri de coeur — "You won't break my soul" — that comes off more like a vow before God 'n' everybody than the sound of a suffering heart. The lines I want hourly are "Worldwide hoodie with a mask outside," and "In case you forgot how we act outside." That's it. That's culture right now. We are thugging it out in these (still pandemic) streets, but we will be free. We will see each other and we will have community. We will blast music in each other's actual company. We will help each other live.
Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent, and the author of Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music.
Daphne A. Brooks is a professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Music at Yale University and the author of Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound.
Danyel Smith is the author of Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop and the host of the podcast Black Girl Songbook.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
NPR's 50 Best Albums Of 2022
50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-2 | 1
Beyoncé's 'RENAISSANCE' is the No. 1 Album of 2022 : NPR. Beyoncé's 'RENAISSANCE' is the No. 1 Album of 2022 Her album-as-Sistine Chapel: awe-inspiring from a distance and glittering with detail, a star-filled imaginary sky and an origin myth that comes to life through its brilliant brush strokes.What is the number one album of 2022? ›
TAYLOR SWIFT'S 'MIDNIGHTS' IS 2022's TOP-SELLING ALBUM: Taylor Swift's latest studio album Midnights was a monster sales success in the U.S., closing 2022 as the top-selling album of the year with 1.818 million copies sold across all formats (physical and digital combined: CD, vinyl LP, cassette, digital download album ...Whose album is best of 2022 Renaissance? ›
"Renaissance" was named Insider's best album of 2022.Is Renaissance album number 1? ›
Already the only artist to have her first six albums all debut at number one, she became the first artist whose first seven albums did so as well. Following its release, all tracks from Renaissance charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the chart dated August 13, 2022.Who sold the most albums in 2022? ›
Taylor Swift's tenth studio album, Midnights, opened with over one million copies sold and became the best-selling album of 2022.What is Beyoncé's number one album? ›
Topline. Beyoncé's newly-released album Renaissance debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making her the first woman to have all seven of her solo studio albums debut at the top spot—but it's one of the smallest debuts of the singer's career, as streams and sales of new music have been declining through the years.What is Renaissance album ranked? ›
The best album credited to Renaissance is Ashes Are Burning which is ranked number 2,399 in the overall greatest album chart with a total rank score of 671. Renaissance is ranked number 700 in the overall artist rankings with a total rank score of 2,540.What is the #1 album right now 2023? ›
- As a musician, Paul McCartney has the most No. 1 albums, with 27. This includes 19 albums from his work with The Beatles, three solo albums and five albums as a part of his 1970s group Wings. ...
- Barbra Streisand is the only artist to have No. 1 albums in six different decades.
Annie Haslam (born 8 June 1947) is an English vocalist, songwriter and painter. She is best known as the lead singer of progressive rock band Renaissance since 1971, and for her long and diverse solo singing career.
Renaissance, platinum (1 million copies sold) Homecoming: The Live Album, gold (500,000 copies sold)Who is the #1 recording artist 2022? ›
Taylor Swift Wins IFPI's 2022 Global Recording Artist of the Year Award.Does Beyoncé have a diamond album? ›
For starters, unlike Adele, Taylor Swift or Usher, Beyoncé has no diamond-selling albums (not even her double-album I Am … Sasha Fierce, which would've had to sell only 5 million to earn that certification).What is Beyoncé's highest selling album? ›
BEYONCE sold over 28,419,134 albums, including 17,529,000 in the United States and 4,960,000 in the United Kingdom. The best-selling album by BEYONCE is DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE, which sold over 7,684,083 copies .What is Beyoncé's most successful song? ›
1. 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' (2008)Who is number 1 on Billboard 2022? ›
"Heat Waves", the 2020 single by British indie-pop band Glass Animals, topped the Hot 100 in 2022 for five weeks. It became the best-charting song of the year.How many albums did Beyonce sell? ›
|Peak chart positions||SWI||4|
|Sales||US: 2,400,000 UK: 736,000 (as of 2022)|
Despite Beyoncé being the most awarded artist in the history of the Grammys, she's never taken Album of the Year.Who has more #1 hits Rihanna or Beyoncé? ›
The only other artists to have achieved more than 20 chart toppers are Rihanna (33) and Beyonce (22). Janet Jackson has accumulated 20 number-ones during her career, followed by Katy Perry with 19, and Jennifer Lopez with 18. Mariah Carey and Kristine W are tied with 17.How well is Renaissance album doing? ›
Renaissance sold 47,500 copies in the U.S. in the week ending Oct. 13 (up 2,401%) according to Luminate. Of that sum, vinyl sales comprised 45,500 (up from a negligible sum the week prior) – marking the largest week for an R&B album on vinyl since Luminate began tracking sales in 1991.
Beyoncé has more than 272 million followers, compared to Rihanna's slightly modest 135 million followers.Why is Renaissance album so good? ›
Simultaneously a dense, impressive DJ set and an intensive musicology lesson, Renaissance revels in its dualities, peppering modern sounds with references to past classics, house music, and techno with trap and funk, spirituality with sensuality, club-night exuberance with cloistered, marital bliss.How much is Renaissance Beyonce album? ›
And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are. Want to buy Renaissance online? Right now, fans can score the new Beyoncé album on CD for just $11.88 or score the official vinyl release for just $39.99 on Amazon.What is considered the greatest album? ›
The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the list, with Rolling Stone's editors describing it as "the most important rock 'n' roll album ever made". The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (1966) was ranked second in recognition of its influence on Sgt. Pepper.What album is #1 on Billboard 2023? ›
One Thing at a Time by American country singer Morgan Wallen garnered the largest opening week of 2023 and also spent eight weeks atop the chart as well.Who is number 1 on Billboard 2023? ›
Miley Cyrus, “Flowers”Who is No 1 Billboard artist? ›
BTS currently holds the record for most consecutive weeks at number one with 180.What is the number 1 album ever sold? ›
Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album ever. Jackson also currently has the highest number of albums on the list with five, Celine Dion has four, while the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Madonna and Whitney Houston each have three.Who has had 5 number ones in one album? ›
Michael Jackson Official Site
On this date in 1988, Michael Jackson became the first artist is music history to have five consecutive #1 singles from one album when “Dirty Diana” topped the Billboard Hot 100.
The Beatles have the most No. 1 hits of all time: 20. Though unclear for how long, the Beatles still reign supreme as the artist with the most No. 1 songs of all time.
Renaissance are an English progressive rock band, best known for their 1978 UK top 10 hit "Northern Lights" and progressive rock classics like "Carpet of the Sun", "Mother Russia", and "Ashes Are Burning".Who went to Beyonce Renaissance? ›
The icon threw the party, which was attended by the likes of Halsey, Doja Cat, Tyler, The Creator, Naomi Campbell, Baz Luhrmann and more, during Paris Fashion Week.Has Beyonce performed Renaissance? ›
Beyoncé most recently took the stage for a private concert at the opening of the Atlantis The Royal resort in Dubai in January. However, she did not perform any songs from Renaissance.Is Beyoncé the most awarded artist of all time? ›
It's Beyoncé.” Minutes before, Beyoncé had been handed her 32nd Grammy, making her the most decorated artist in the prestigious award's history. She officially surpassed the record previously held by Georg Solti, a Hungarian-born British conductor who died in 1997.How much money did Beyoncé make from Renaissance? ›
Beyoncé is raking in about $7.5 million per show on her Renaissance tour, and demand is so high (she hasn't toured since 2016) that she can keep adding tours to rack up revenue.Does Beyoncé have any platinum albums? ›
“Sweet Dreams,” 3x multi-platinum (3 million copies sold) “Diva,” 2x multi-platinum (2 million copies sold) “Video Phone,” platinum (1 million copies sold)Who is number 1 on Spotify 2022? ›
The Weeknd is on top of the world. The artist, born Abel Tesfaye, has become the most popular artist across the globe, according to Guinness World Records, which dubbed the "Can't Feel My Face" singer king of streams Monday.Who is #1 on Spotify? ›
Most Popular Artists on Spotify by Monthly Listeners.
|1||The Weeknd||98.67 million|
|2||Miley Cyrus||84.83 million|
|3||Taylor Swift||80.26 million|
Garth Brooks has received seven Diamond awards for seven individual albums from the RIAA for selling over ten million units each, a feat only he can claim, and is the No. 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history certified by the RIAA with over 138 million album sales.
|Florida Georgia Line||2|
|Macklemore & Ryan Lewis|
|Twenty One Pilots|
1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Beyonce's chart history reveals that she's had eight No. 1 hits since her making her solo debut in 2003 with Dangerously In Love, starting with that album's first and second singles.Who has sold more records Adele or Beyoncé? ›
As far as America goes, Beyoncé rules. However, Adele gets the edge on a global stage, and it all boils down to home-field advantage. Simply put, Adele is a bigger deal in the U.S. than is Beyoncé in the UK.Who did Beyoncé lose best album to? ›
Spike Lee is weighing in on Beyoncé's Renaissance not taking home album of the year at the Grammy Awards, calling the loss "poppycock." Harry Styles, 29, ultimately won the coveted award for Harry's House during music's biggest night earlier this month.Did Drake outsell Beyoncé? ›
Until today, we thought Drake's Views was the best-selling album of 2016, but new music industry figures suggest otherwise. According to the IFPI's annual report, both Beyonce's Lemonade and Adele's 25 shifted more copies worldwide.Who is Beyoncé's Favourite singer? ›
Queen Bey has been a fan of Selena and considers her a legend. There is no doubt that Selena Quintanilla is an inspiration to many artists today. Her talent and her songs were the admiration of most of the girls in the '90s, one of them, Beyoncé.Who is Beyoncé favorite artist? ›
“I'm really into the work of Kara Walker, Tracey Emin, Aaron Young, Ed Ruscha, and Donald Judd,” she says. She's also into Urs Fischer, who created a series of mixed-media portraits of her which will hit shelves March 14 as part of a special edition of the magazine.What is Beyoncé's best vocal performance? ›
- Coachella, 2018.
- “Love Drought/Sandcastles,” 2017 Grammys. ...
- 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show. ...
- “Freedom,” 2016 BET Awards. ...
- The Beyoncé Experience Live (2007) ...
- “Run the World,” 2011 Billboard Music Awards. ...
- “Love On Top,” 2011 MTV VMAs. ...
- “If I Were A Boy,” 2010 Grammys. ...
|1.||"Blinding Lights"||The Weeknd|
|2.||"The Twist"||Chubby Checker|
|3.||"Smooth"||Santana featuring Rob Thomas|
|4.||"Mack the Knife"||Bobby Darin|
iTunes Top Pop Songs
The chart of today's current hit top pop songs 2023 on iTunes is several times daily and was last updated: Pacific Time. The current number one pop song on iTunes right now is Flowers by Miley Cyrus.
- (1) One Thing At A Time. Morgan Wallen. peak position: 1 – total weeks: 8. ...
- (new) new. D-day Highest Debut. ...
- (new) new. Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions. ...
- (4) Midnights. Taylor Swift. ...
- (new) new. Don't Try This At Home. ...
- (3) Sos. SZA. ...
- (5) Dangerous: The Double Album. Morgan Wallen. ...
- (6) Gettin' Old. Luke Combs.
|1. (1)||1||One Thing At A Time Morgan Wallen peak position: 1 – total weeks: 7|
|2. (new)||new||72 Seasons Highest Debut Metallica peak position: 2 – total weeks: 1|
|3. (4)||4||Sos SZA peak position: 1 – total weeks: 19|
|4. (3)||3||Midnights Taylor Swift peak position: 1 – total weeks: 26|
The top global albums of 2022
From Spanish to English, pop to hip-hop, listeners around the world showed a variety of tastes. Bad Bunny's Un Verano Sin Ti takes the top spot for most-streamed album globally for 2022. Harry Styles' Harry's House comes in at number two.
|1||AS IT WAS||HARRY STYLES|
|2||BAD HABITS||ED SHEERAN|
|3||PERU||FIREBOY DML & ED SHEERAN|
Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album ever. Jackson also currently has the highest number of albums on the list with five, Celine Dion has four, while the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Madonna and Whitney Houston each have three.What's the number 1 album on Apple? ›
|Pos||P+||Artist - Title|
|1||=||Jack Harlow - Jackman.|
|2||+1||Morgan Wallen - One Thing At A Time|
|3||-1||YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Don't Try This At Home|
|4||=||Eslabon Armado - DESVELADO|
However, recent releases have not sold as well, with Now That's What I Call Music! 77 selling only an estimated 7,500 copies in its first week, compared to the 621,000 copies Now! 7 sold in its debut week in July 2001. The most successful album in the series to date is Now That's What I Call Music!