Frank Ocean's Endless is not eligible to chart on Billboard, but Blonde is, and it had an impressive first week, despite the massive amount of illegal downloads reported. Blonde was illegally downloaded over 750,000 times. According to Billboard, Blonde is the third biggest release of 2016 so far, with the equivalent of 276,000 album units moved in the first week. Drake's Views and Beyoncé's Lemonade are the only two albums to top it.
Frank's last album channel ORANGE, released in 2012, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 131,000 copies. Blonde will debut on the chart at No. 1 (Frank's first time on top) when Billboard updates the website on Tuesday, August 30.
It's been a tumultuous week for Frank Ocean and his fans—a week that has brought on debates over exclusive streaming deals, rumors of lawsuits, and the surprising revelation that Blonde was an independent release. But these strong first week numbers and the positive critical reception so far suggest that putting in some extra time can pay off in the end. Or that Frank Ocean's fans just really love him.