‘Encanto’ Becomes First Soundtrack Album to Reach No. 1 in Two Years; ‘Bruno’ Song Hits Top 5

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Adele’s reign atop the album chart is over, at least temporarily, as the music of Disney’s “Encanto” took over the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, becoming the first film or TV soundtrack to reach that peak in more than two years.

The animated movie’s popularity after its debut on the Disney Plus streaming service was also felt on the Billboard Hot 100, as the Lin-Manuel Miranda-penned song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” soared 45 spots to No. 5.

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Adele could still claim one out of two chart-topping spots, as her song “Easy on Me” made its stand at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for an eighth week, even as her album, “30,” slipped to the No. 2 spot on the album chart after six weeks of supremacy.

Granted, the competition among albums was not especially fierce in these dog days after the holiday season. “Encanto” only had to come up with 72,000 album-equivalent units to land at No. 1, ahead of “30,” which had 57,000. The Disney soundtrack was up 76% for the week, while Adele’s album was down 43%.

For the “Encanto” album, it was definitely a case of “from small things, big things one day come,” since the soundtrack entered the chart in December at an extremely modest No. 197, when the film’s theatrical bow was generating far less interest than what’s being seen with its streaming popularity now. Even two weeks ago, the album had peaked at just No. 110, before leaping to No. 7 last week. Billboard reports that it is only the third album in history to debut in one of the last three rungs of the Billboard 200 and eventually make it to No. 1, the others being “Led Zeppelin II” and the Monkees’ “Headquarters.”

The last soundtrack to reach No. 1 also came from Disney — “Frozen II,” which stood on top for a single week in Dec. 2019.

(As Variety‘s Clayton Davis reported last week, the song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” would have seemed likely to become a sure thing for at least an Oscar nomination for best song, based on its sudden surge in popularity… if only it had been submitted by Disney. But it wasn’t; the studio instead took its chances before the Nov. 1 deadline by submitting another song as a singular entry from “Encanto,” the tear-jerker “Dos Oruguitas.”)

In news that may be greeted with mixed reactions, given the artist’s ongoing polarizing qualities, the biggest album of 2021 — Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” — celebrated its one-year anniversary on the chart with a rise back up to the No. 3 spot. The controversial country star’s album spent 10 weeks at No. 1 and only fell out of the top 10 once in the past year.

Following Wallen in the top 10 albums are some other chart perennials going back months: Olivia Rodrigo at No. 4, Taylor Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)” at No. 5, Drake at No. 6, Doja Cat at No. 7, the Weeknd’s greatest-hits compilation at No. 8, and Juice WRLD and Polo G at Nos. 9-10.

The Weeknd will easily land on top of next week’s Billboard 200 with his new album, “Dawn FM,” and if his “The Highlights” hangs in there, the artist could have two albums in the coming top 10.

There was more fresh blood among the top 10 singles. Besides the “Encanto” song, there were two other tunes reaching the top 10 on the Hot 100 for the first time: Dua Lipa and Elton John’s ““Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” leaping 13 spots to No. 7, and Kodak Black’s “Super Gremlin” at No. 10, a six-spot jump.

Some of the big boosts being seen by certain albums and singles in the latest frame have as much to do with the sudden, quick exit of Christmas tunes and collections from charts they’ve had had a hold on for the last 4-6 weeks.

The Hot 100’s top 10 was rounded out by the Kid Laroi featuring Justin Bieber at No. 2, Glass Animals reaching a peak-to-date No. 3, Ed Sheeran’s “Shivers” at No. 4, Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s “Industry Baby” at No. 6, Sheeran again with “Bad Habits” at No. 8 and Doja Cat at No. 9.

“Cold Heart” represents Elton John’s first single to make the top 10 of the Hot 100 since “Candle in the Wind” in 1997-98. According to Billboard, he now has the record for the longest span between first and most recent top 10 songs on the chart — if holiday songs aren’t included — with 51-plus years having transpired since “Your Song” hit the mark in early 1971.

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