Taylor Swift or One Direction: Who's No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100?

Taylor Swift performs on Hollywood Boulevard for ?Jimmy Kimmel Live? on October 23, 2014.
ABC/Randy Holmes

Taylor Swift performs on Hollywood Boulevard for Jimmy Kimmel Live on October 23, 2014.

The superstars staged a close battle for the summit this week.

In a tight race for the top, Taylor Swift narrowly bests One Direction for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Artist 100 chart.

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.

Swift scores a record-extending sixth week at No. 1 on the Artist 100 despite a 24 percent loss in overall points. Album sales, for her three-week Billboard 200 No. 1 1989 (which falls to No. 2 this week) and her prior albums, again contribute her largest share of points (40 percent), as the set sold 214,000 copies (down 32 percent) in the week ending Nov. 23, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Digital song sales follow at 36 percent, led by 302,000 downloads sold (down 8 percent) of "Blank Space," the Hot 100's top song for a second week.

One Direction falls just shy of Swift on the Artist 100, but still reaches its best rank, leaping 10-2 (up 395 percent). Fueling the jump: the boy band's 387,000-unit start atop the Billboard 200 with Four, as album sales account for 72 percent of the group's Artist 100 standing this week.

Pentatonix likewise soars on the Artist 100, blasting 29-3 (up 216 percent) as its That's Christmas to Me is the Billboard 200's Greatest Gainer (8-3; 99,000, up 193 percent) and tallies its fifth week at No. 1 on Top Holiday Albums.

Sam Smith (5-4) and Meghan Trainor (6-5) (who spent some quality time together at Sunday's American Music Awards) round out the Artist 100's top five.

Hozier hits the Artist 100's top 10 for the first time, climbing 13-8 (up 25 percent). Digital song sales mark his biggest driver (60 percent), as "Take Me to Church" leads Rock Digital Songs for a fifth week (176,000, up 34 percent). The track pushes 6-3 on the Hot 100.

In addition to Pentatonix's ascent, other notable acts debut on the Artist 100 thanks to surges for holiday songs and/or albums. Elvis Presley jingles in at No. 80, along with Band Aid 30 (No. 84), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (No. 87), Mariah Carey (No. 94) and Mannheim Steamroller (No. 95).

View the complete Billboard Artist 100 chart here.


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