Grammy Nominations 2017
Taylor Swift Returns to No. 1 on Billboard Artist 100
Swift returns to the top for what could be a lengthy stay. Plus, Neil Diamond shines in the top 10 and Gwen Stefani & Fergie debut.
In what shouldn't come as a surprise, Taylor Swift is the top music act in the U.S., rising 2-1 on the Billboard Artist 100. What might be more surprising is that she reigns before any sales of her new album, 1989, released Monday, factor into her Artist 100 ranking.
The Artist 100 provides the first weekly ranking dedicated to measuring artist activity across Billboard's most influential charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, Billboard 200 albums chart and the Social 50. The Artist 100 blends data measuring album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.
After leading the Artist 100 dated Sept. 6, when her single "Shake It Off" blasted in at No. 1 on the Hot 100, Swift returns to the chart's summit (2-1). (She spent her eight weeks in between No. 1 Artist 100 ranks bouncing among all the other spots in the top five.) Swift reclaims the throne with a 26 percent gain in overall points, led by an 88 percent surge in album sales, as her last set, Red, re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 79 (4,000 sold, up 106 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan).
Swift's social profile also swells by 32 percent, as promotion for her new album, 1989, has gone into hyperdrive. With 1989 due atop next week's Billboard 200, Swift appears a lock to dominate the Artist 100 again; next week, sales for 1989 will begin counting toward the Artist 100, setting up what could be a lengthy domination for Swift atop the survey. Also sure to help maintain her lofty status: "Blank Space" has just been announced as 1989's second radio single.
Rounding out the Artist 100's top five below Swift, hard rock band Slipknot debuts at No. 2, thanks largely to the group's launch atop the Billboard 200 with 5: The Gray Chapter (131,000 sold); Meghan Trainor rebounds 6-3; Maroon 5 moves 5-4; and Sam Smith dips 3-5.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (and 2011 Billboard Icon Award winner) Neil Diamond re-enters the Artist 100 at a new high of No. 9. Album sales fuel almost all his Artist 100 points, as Melody Road, his first set released on Capitol (after decades with Columbia) enters the Billboard 200 at No. 3 with 78,000 sold.
Meanwhile, two divas debut on the Artist 100 thanks primarily to digital sales of their new singles. As Gwen Stefani's "Baby Don't Lie" bows at No. 46 on the Hot 100 and Fergie's "L.A.LOVE (la la)" jumps 81-63, the singers arrive on the Artist 100 at Nos. 54 and 90, respectively.
View the complete Billboard Artist 100 chart here and in the new issue of Billboard magazine (dated Nov. 8), on sale Friday.