By all accounts, Lil Baby won 2020. The Atlanta rapper scored dozens of Billboard hits, became one of rap’s most in-demand feature guests, and his album, My Turn was the most popular album of the year.
According to MRC Data (formerly Nielsen Music), Baby’s second album earned 2.63 million equivalent album units last year—the most of any album in 2020. Not only did he outperform other popular rappers like Lil Uzi Vert and Pop Smoke, but he also outperformed established pop superstars like Taylor Swift. Songs from My Turn earned 3.93 billion streams during the year.
MRC Data’s 2020 tracking year ran from Jan. 3, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. Below is MRC’s list of the 10 biggest 2020 albums by Total Equivalent Album Units:Lil Baby, My Turnundefinedundefined (2.632 million)Taylor Swift, Folkloreundefinedundefined (2.204 million)Pop Smoke, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moonundefinedundefined (2.198 million)The Weeknd, After Hoursundefinedundefined (2.032 million)Juice Wrld, Legends Never Dieundefinedundefined (1.990 million)Post Malone, Hollywood’s Bleedingundefinedundefined (1.895 million)Lil Uzi Vert, Eternal Atakeundefinedundefined (1.860 million)Roddy Ricch, Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocialundefinedundefined (1.792 million)Harry Styles, Fine Lineundefinedundefined (1.522 million)Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Getundefinedundefined (1.475 million)
Despite dominating streaming, Baby only sold 40,000 units in traditional album sales. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift—the only woman to crack the Top 10 for Total Equivalent Album Units—was also the only artist who managed to sell a million copies of an album last year. It was the second year in a row where she was the sole artist to accomplish this feat.
Lil Baby and Taylor Swift’s individual success represents a continuing divide in the way music is consumed. Rap dominated the list of top streaming albums list, but three albums in the Top 10 sold less than 100,000 copies. Meanwhile, only two rap albums broke the list of top-selling albums of 2020. Below is MRC’s list of the 10 best selling albums of 2020 by traditional sales:Taylor Swift, Folkloreundefinedundefined (1.276 million)BTS, Map of the Soul: 7undefinedundefined (674,009)The Weeknd, After Hoursundefinedundefined (480,000)Harry Styles, Fine Lineundefinedundefined (420,000)Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?undefinedundefined (348,000)Lady Gaga, Chromaticaundefinedundefined (331,000)Juice WRLD, Legends Never Dieundefinedundefined (301,000)Halsey, Manicundefinedundefined (301,000)Eminem, Music to Be Murdered Byundefinedundefined (287,000)Taylor Swift, Evermoreundefinedundefined (283,000)
Despite not selling the most copies, R&B/hip-hop is still the popular genre of music thanks to streaming—which continues to grow. U.S. album equivalent audio music consumption grew 12%, while on-demand audio song streams grew 17% in 2020.
Read all the lyrics to Lil Baby’s My Turnundefined on Genius now.