Kanye West's 'Donda' Is Already Breaking Records Before It's Even Released

Kanye West's much-delayed album, Donda, is already proving to be immensely popular—even though fans are still unable to purchase copies.

The musician has held three listening events for his upcoming music project, with the two most recent ones taking place at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

And Billboard is now reporting that the last of those listening parties, which took place on August 5, has broken records for Apple Music.

According to the publication, the live stream pulled in 5.4 million viewers—making it the platform's most-watched event.

Beyond Apple Music, it also sits comfortably among the best watched live streams, with the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards garnering 6.1 million viewers across the U.S. when it aired in September.

Billboard also reported that the event generated 1.1 million tweets at its peak, which it says outpaced the 2020 MTV Music Video Awards.

Elsewhere, per Billboard, the August 5 listening party pulled in an eye-watering $7 million from in-person merchandise sales among the more than 40,000 ticketed attendees.

The event proved to be more elaborate than the average listening party, with West adding a visually dramatic touch as he was circled in the center of the stadium by a crowd of people while a spotlight shone on him.

West was then seen lying on his back as he was flown on a wire hundreds of feet in the air while his single "No Child Left Behind" was playing.

In videos of the moment, members of the audience were heard reacting in disbelief as West was lifted high above the crowd, while the dramatic chords of the track rung out across the colossal stadium.

Donda was originally scheduled to be released on July 24, 2020, before hitting delays. This summer, fans expected it to be released on July 23, the day after the first of the two listening parties was held in Atlanta.

It was then anticipated that the album would become available on August 6, after the most recent event. West hosted a smaller listening party earlier in July in Las Vegas. The release date for Donda has been revised to August 13 on Apple Music.

According to Pitchfork, the event for the album on August 5 featured a number of songs previously unveiled at the July 22 listening event, with updates and a revised track order.

A host of stars featured on tracks played at the hot ticket event, including Young Thug, Kid Cudi, Lil Yachty, Jay Electronica and The Weeknd, per Pitchfork.

West has had a long history of pushing back the release dates of his albums, with a number of his previous musical outings also delayed over the years.

Donda, which features an appearance from Jay-Z, is named after West's mother, Donda West, who passed away in 2007 from plastic surgery complications.

Kanye West
Kanye West's anticipated album "Donda" has faced a series of delays, with the most recent revised date being August 13. West is pictured right at his August 5 listening party in Atlanta. Mark Sagliocco/WireImage;/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music Group