One Direction Scores Historic Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart

One Direction's "Midnight Memories" debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week with 546,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The act makes history as the first group to debut at No. 1 with its first three albums. "Midnight Memories" follows two No. 1s for the act in 2012: its debut album, "Up All Night," and sophomore set "Take Me Home."

The Monkees' self-titled debut was released in 1966 and climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in its sixth week on the chart. The TV-born act—riding high with its hit ABC series—followed up the No. 1 success with three more consecutive No. 1s in 1967: "More of the Monkees," "Headquarters" and "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd."

One Direction's first-week sales have also steadily grown with each successive album. Its first set, "Up All Night," bowed atop the list with 176,000, while "Take Me Home" launched with 540,000.

The act follows the recent successes of Drake, Selena Gomez, Luke Bryan and Vampire Weekend in 2013—all of whose respective albums have bowed with a bigger first week than the one before it. (You canalso include Eminem in that list, to a degree. His last two albums each debuted stronger than the one before.

With the start of "Midnight Memories,” One Direction also becomes only the third pop group to log multiple half-million sales weeks in the Nielsen SoundScan era. Since the company began tracking sales in 1991, only two other pop groups have notched more than one sales week of 500,000: 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys.

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