After a nearly 20-year wait, Backstreet Boys are back on top of the Billboard 200 chart. The group debuts at No. 1 on the list with its new studio album DNA, marking the vocal quintet’s third No. 1, and first leader since Black & Blue spent two weeks at No. 1 in December of 2000.
DNA was released on the Boys’ label K-BAHN, via RCA Records, on Jan. 25. The set earned 234,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Jan. 31, according to Nielsen Music, with album sales comprising 227,000 of that sum. DNA is also the top-selling album of the week.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Feb. 9-dated chart -- where DNA debuts at No. 1 -- will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Feb. 5.
Boys & a Beatle: Backstreet Boys last led the Billboard 200 way back on Dec. 16, 2000, when Black & Blue spent its second and final week in charge. Now, 18 years and nearly two months later, the group is back at No. 1. That’s the longest gap between No. 1 albums for an act since last year, when Paul McCartney returned to the top after 36 years. His Egypt Station set bowed at No. 1 on the chart dated Sept. 22, 2018 -- 36 years, 3 months and 10 days after Tug of War last led the list (June 12, 1982).
Longest Gap Between No. 1s for a Group Since 2010: In terms of the longest wait between No. 1s for a group, Backstreet Boys’ gap between leaders is the biggest since 2010. That year, on the Feb. 27-dated list, Sade (led by vocalist Sade Adu) returned to No. 1 after more than 24 years. That week, the band’s Soldier of Love opened atop the list -- the act’s first week at No. 1 since Promise spent its second and final week in charge on Feb. 22, 1986.
10 Top 10 Albums: DNA also marks Backstreet Boys’ 10th top 10 album -- the entirety of the act’s charting efforts. Their first top 10 came with their self-titled U.S. debut, which bowed at No. 29 on the list dated Aug. 30, 1997, and eventually peaked at No. 4 on Jan. 31, 1998. The group previously led the list with Millennium (10 weeks at No. 1 in 1999) and Black & Blue. The last group to hit the top 10 with each of their its first 10 charting albums was Led Zeppelin, between 1969 and 1982.