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Wednesday November 30, 2016
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Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd poses backstage with his two Juno awards at the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ontario, March 16, 2015.—Reuters pic.Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd poses backstage with his two Juno awards at the 2015 Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ontario, March 16, 2015.—Reuters pic.

LOS ANGELES, Nov 30 — The Weeknd is bound for a No. 1 debut on next week’s Billboard 200 chart with his new album, Starboy, according to industry forecasters.

Sources suggest the set could launch with at least 350,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending December 1.

A start that large would give The Weeknd the third-biggest debut of 2016, behind only Drake’s Views (1.04 million units) and Beyoncé’s Lemonade (653,000).

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

The top 10 of the new December 17-dated Billboard 200 chart — where The Weeknd could debut at No. 1 — is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday.

Starboy was released on November 25 through XO/Republic Records and is the follow-up to his chart-topping Beauty Behind the Madness.

The new set was initially released commercially as a download and through streaming services. Its CD release followed three days later on November 28.

Starboy’s lead single — its title track — has so far peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Previous to the album’s release and following its bow, The Weeknd offered some high-profile TV performances on Saturday Night Live (October 1), the MTV Europe Music Awards (November 6), the American Music Awards (November 20), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (November 24) and The Ellen DeGeneres Show (November 28).

He also sat down for interviews with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 (November 24), The Wall Street Journal (November 2) and The New York Times (November 28). — Billboard/Bloomberg

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