Dancehall veterans Buju Banton and Vybz Kartel have made their debut on the Billboard Reggae Albums best selling chart as expected, but neither grabbed the No. 1 spot. Both albums, Upside Down 2020 and Of Dons & Divas, were released on June 26.
Nielsen Music/MRC Data compile Billboard Album charts in a manner that reflects the modern ways in which fans consume music. The chart takes into account on-demand video and audio streams from YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, and TIDAL and Vevo in addition to album sales.
The charts are updated weekly and were released today (June 7).
Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers by Bob Marley and the Wailers remains at No. 1 for the 26th consecutive week. The RIAA Diamond certified album is an almost permanent fixture on the chart and was first released back in 1984.
Buju Banton’s Upside Down 2020 took the No. 2 position on debut, while Vybz Kartel’s new album, Of Dons & Divas, made its debut at No. 6 on the Reggae Albums chart.
The compilation albums Best of Shaggy: The Boombastic Collection by Shaggy and Dutty Classics Collection by Sean Paul took the No. 3 and 4, respectively. While World On Fire by the Southern California reggae band, Stick Figure landed the No. 5 position.
Buju’s 20 track album had significant backing and support from Roc Nation and Island Records and was featured prominently on online playlists and in international publications.
The album featured contributions from Pharrell Williams, Stephen Marley, John Legend, and Stefflon Don.
Upside Down 2020 was his first project to be released since his return to Jamaica in 2018 following his incarceration in the United States. His prior album, Before The Dawn, won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2010.
Vybz Kartel remains incarcerated but has been touting Of Dons & Divas as the album that will finally earn him a GRAMMY award. By its nature, it boasted a much longer featured list, including Lisa Hyper and Daniboo, who appears on the cover, Skillibeng, Tommy Lee Sparta, Lisa Mercedez, Squash, Slimatic, TeeJay, Daddy1, Sikka Rhymes, Jucee Froot and his sons Likkle Vybz and Likkle Addi.
Vybz Kartel’s ‘Of Dons & Divas’
The 18-track album was produced by Kartel’s wife Short Boss Muzik and his own Vybz Kartel Muzik imprint. Zojak Worldwide is handling distribution.
Kartel has only been able to peak at No. 2 with previous projects on the Billboard Reggae Chart. Kingston Story (2011) reached No. 7, Vybz Kartel Roots & Culture: The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto (2013) peaked at No. 6, Kartel Forever: Trilogy (2013) peaked at No. 11, Reggae Love Songs & Other Things (2014) peaked at No. 7.
His last album, To Tanesha, was not placed in the Reggae Album category but peaked at No. 87 on Billboard’s Current Album chart.