5SOS Lose #1 Spot on Billboard 200 Due to "Clerical Error" and Fans are Fighting Back

5 Seconds of Summer’s fourth studio album, CALM, came out  on March 27. It was expected to follow in the success of the band’s previous three albums and debut at number one on Billboard’s 200 Chart, but it didn’t happen. Due to a clerical error, Ticketmaster shipped out over 10k copies of the album early, causing it to debut at 62 a week before it was supposed to. The official charts for this week just got released and CALM peaked at number two, just 3k behind The Weeknd’s After Hours. Had those 10k copies been sent out when they were supposed to the band would’ve had their fourth consecutive debut at number one. Most fans don’t even have their copies that were supposedly included in the 10k that caused the album to chart early.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to an artist. Artists like Ariana Grande, Harry Styles, and Justin Bieber have had errors like this, but their Billboard debuts weren’t affected. So why is it happening to 5SOS? Fans don’t know for sure, but this situation is oddly suspicious and there might be more at play here. Due to all of this shady stuff happening with the charts, 5SOS stans have rallied together and started multiple hashtags to fight Billboard. At first other fans were saying that the 5SOS fam were just salty that they didn’t get the number one spot, but that’s not it at all. If 5SOS had gotten the number two spot fair and square, fans would be proud that they did their best. Things have gotten worse since the hashtag started and Billboard hasn’t been handling this situation well at all. They’ve been reportedly blocking fans and removing their contact info from their bios. It’s not a good look especially since it’s supposedly just a “clerical error” with no malicious intent.

Billboard have yet to officially make a statement on the situation, but it’s just a matter of time before they do. Actions need to be taken to make this right and 5SOS deserve the top spot this week. It’s really unfair to penalize the band for something that’s out of their control, especially since other artists weren’t penalized when the same thing happened to them. Losing the number one spot is not why fans are upset, this is bigger than 5SOS. This is about fighting for what’s right, this is fighting back at an industry that treats their artists unfairly. 5SOS fans are dedicated and have the power to make a difference. And it’s working; they’re being heard, the situation is getting media attention and multiple radio stations have joined the fight.

As time goes on, the more this situation doesn’t make sense. Billboard said in an article about CALM that their longstanding policy is to count the sales for the week when the customer receives their copy (tracking week ending March 26). A few months ago, Billboard changed its policies regarding merch bundles saying that sales will be counted when the item is received. The new policy doesn’t effect ticket bundles but that goes against what they said about CALM’s charting issues. It’s weird that they didn’t apply that policy to CALM and made the band lose their debuting streak.


Some are speculating that the Billboard 200 Chart was manipulated in The Weeknd’s favor, but why? Because The Weeknd is signed to Republic Records and Billboard has a long-standing relationship with them.

“Republic is the top Billboard Hot 100 label for the sixth year in a row, and seventh time this decade,” Billboard’s Senior VP of Charts and Data Development, Silvio Pietroluongo, said in presenting the honor to the Republic brass. It’s disheartening to see music history go down the drain because a supposedly unbiased industry doesn’t care about doing the right thing.  

It's been days and Billboard have yet to address the situation or revise the charts. Who knows if they will but that’s why fans can’t give up the fight. This is more than just about numbers on the chart, it’s about righting a wrong and preventing these companies from doing it again. There are many smaller artists that this could’ve happened to that we don’t know about. No artist deserves to have that happen to a project that they worked so hard on and are so proud of. It’s amazing to see all these people rally behind 5SOS and their fans. Just goes to show what can happen when we use our voice for good.

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