Travis Scott in chart Utopia with first UK number one album

Travis Scott has fended off Anne-Marie to secure his first UK number one album for his digital-only release, Utopia.

Fellow rappers Dave and Central Cee remained at the top of the singles chart, claiming the longest-running UK rap number one with Sprinter.

Sinéad O’Connor’s biggest hit, Nothing Compares 2 U, re-entered the top 40 on Friday for the first time since 1990, following her death last week.

Lizzo’s song Pink shot up 12 places to 27, amid allegations of misconduct.

The singer, whose latest offering features on the Barbie movie soundtrack, is being sued by three of her former dancers over claims of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment, which she denies.

Late Irish singer O’Connor’s famous Prince cover jumped 15 places into 30th spot.

Like Lizzo, Travis Scott, 32, was raised in Houston, and his first UK number one album also saw the biggest streaming week for an LP so far this year.

Despite narrowly landing in second place, Essex pop singer Anne-Marie’s LP, Unhealthy, still claimed the fastest-selling album of the year so far by a UK female solo artist.

Scott’s album arrived a week after he told fans that his cancelled live show in front of Egypt’s pyramids will one day go ahead. The sold-out desert gig – timed to coincide with the record’s release – was cancelled at the last minute due to “complex production issues”, organisers said.

Travis Scott performs at Astroworld in 2021. He's wearing a black leather jacket, with a black hoodie underneath, and stonewash jeans. His gloved hand is holding a microphone close to his mouth as he roars into a microphone and jets of flame shoot out behind him on-stage.IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Travis Scott has performed a handful of live shows since his Astroworld tour in 2021

His new concept album includes the singles K-pop – featuring Bad Bunny and The Weeknd, as well as Delresto (Echoes) and Meltdown – this week’s highest new entry at number 10. Two more Utopia tracks, FE!N ft. Playboi Carti and HYAENA also charted on Friday.

The album dropped last week, accompanied by a film called Circus Maximus. The Roman chariot-racing stadium of the same name is now set to play host to Scott next week in lieu of the planned Pyramids of Giza concert.

‘Empty paradise’

Music critics agreed his new album was far from perfect, however, with the Guardian’s Shaad D’Souza saying the “rap superstar” was “lost amid sublime soundworld”.

“Scott’s rhyming isn’t strong enough to distinguish him from his A-list guests,” D’Souza noted in a two-star review.

Andre Gee, reviewing the album for Rolling Stone magazine, described it as an “empty paradise”. “He’s a brilliant curator, but doesn’t have anything interesting to say.”

“In an attempt to give the world a true blockbuster rap album, the Houston rapper delivers a shiny, empty spectacle loaded with pop superstars who rarely make an impact,” said Pitchfork’s Alphonse Pierre.

Meanwhile, the NME’s Nathan Evans offered three-stars, saying it was a “lofty concept” but with “shaky execution”.

“The Houston rapper’s first album since 2018 teases a brave new sonic world, but has little to say about what might happen if we get there,” he said.

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Going the distance: Sprinter is the first number one for Central Cee (left) and the third by Mercury Prize-winner Dave

Elsewhere on Friday, Scott’s fellow rappers Dave and Central Cee remained at the top of the UK singles chart for a ninth straight week, setting a new record for the longest-running UK rap number one in the process with their collaboration Sprinter.

If the Londoners can keep up the pace at the top for another week, they will equal Miley Cyrus’s 10-week run with Flowers – 2023’s longest-running number one single overall.

This is the second time Dave has entered the chart record books, after last year’s track Starlight became the country’s longest-running solo rap number one, with four weeks at the summit.

Charli XCX’s appearance on the Barbie soundtrack – alongside the likes of Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj – helped her to race to her first top 10 finish in nearly a decade with the song Speed Drive.

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