The Year in Charts 2019: Post Malone Crowned Billboard's Top Artist of the Year

ISSUE 23 2018 - DO NOT USE!!!! - ISSUE OUT OCT. 11, 2018
Sami Drasin
Post Malone wears a Madcap England suit, Saint Laurent boots and The Great Frog ring.

Plus: Billie Eilish claims year's top Billboard 200 album & Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, is top Billboard Hot 100 song.

Post Malone crowns Billboard’s year-end Top Artists tally for the first time, capping a blockbuster 2019 for the genre-hopping star. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter finishes in first place in large part due to the massive success of a trio of smash albums on the Billboard 200 chart, along with a bevy of hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

Post Malone is the first U.S.-born act to lead the Top Artists ranking since Taylor Swift in 2015. Posty is also the first native New Yorker to be the year’s top artist since 2010, when Manhattan-born Lady Gaga ruled.

Billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance from Nov. 24, 2018, to Nov. 16, 2019. The year-end Top Artists category ranks the best-performing acts of the year based on activity on the Billboard 200 albums tally and the Billboard Hot 100 Songs list, as well as streaming, social media and Billboard Boxscore data. Data registered before or after a title’s chart run is not considered in these standings. That methodology detail, and the November-to-November time period, account for some of the differences between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Nielsen Music.

Explore All of Billboard's 2019 Year-End Charts

As Post Malone is the year’s top male artist, he’s joined by Ariana Grande as the top female artist (No. 2 on the overall Top Artists ranking) and Jonas Brothers as the top duo/group (No. 11 on the overall list). This is Grande’s second coronation as the top female artist, following 2017. Meanwhile, comeback kids (er, men) Jonas Brothers -- who returned in 2019 with their first studio album in nearly a decade, Happiness Begins -- also celebrate their second year-end finish as the top duo/group, having first earned the distinction in 2008. That 11-year gap between year-end No. 1 rankings is the longest by any group since Billboard began compiling overall artist rankings in 1977. Previously, the only act to be the top duo/group in multiple years that were not consecutive was The Black Eyed Peas in 2011 and 2009.

Post Malone finishes 2019 with his two most recent albums ranking in the top 10 on the year-end Billboard 200 Albums recap: 2018’s beerbongs & bentleys is No. 5, while this year’s Hollywood’s Bleeding sits at No. 9. A year ago, he also had two in the top 10, as beerbongs and his debut album, 2016’s Stoney, were Nos. 3 and 9. Posty is the first act to have two albums in the year-end top 10 in back-to-back years since 1966 and 1967 when Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass had three albums in the year-end top 10 in both of those years.

Beerbongs debuted at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 chart dated May 12, 2018, and ranked among the top 20 in every week during the 2019 chart year (Nov. 24, 2018, to Nov. 16, 2019). Hollywood’s Bleeding blasted in at No. 1 on the Sept. 21, 2019-dated list and racked up five weeks at No. 1 during the chart year -- longer than any other album in this period.

Post Malone’s domination continues on the 2019 year-end Hot 100 Songs chart, where he has two tunes in the top 10: “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse),” a co-billed collaboration with Swae Lee at No. 2, and “Wow.” at No. 5. As Post Malone also had two tracks in the 2018 year-end top 10 (“Rockstar,” featuring 21 Savage, at No. 5 and “Psycho,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, at No. 6), he is just the second act, and first solo artist, to tally a pair of year-end top 10s in back-to-back years since the Hot 100 launched in 1958. Only The Chainsmokers have managed the feat previously, in 2016 and 2017.

Amazingly, Post Malone is the only act to have a pair of top 10s in both the year-end Hot 100 and Billboard 200 recaps at the same time in two consecutive years. (To quote Post Malone: “Wow.”) Aside from Post Malone in 2018 and 2019, the only artist to have a pair of top 10s in both the year-end Hot 100 and Billboard 200 recaps at the same time was Donna Summer in 1979.

On the year-end 2019 Billboard 200 Albums recap, Billie Eilish (who was born on Dec. 18, 2001) becomes the youngest artist to have the year-end No. 1 album, as the 17-year-old’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? tops the tally. The set launched atop the Billboard 200 dated April 13, 2019, and spent the rest of the chart year in the top 10. Eilish also leads as the year’s top new artist.

Previously, just two acts under the age of 21 claimed the chart’s biggest album. Taylor Swift turned 20 on Dec. 13, 2009, the same year her Fearless set was tops. And, two decades earlier, Bobby Brown was 20 when Don’t Be Cruel reigned in 1989.

Following Eilish at Nos. 2-4 on the 2019 year-end Billboard 200 Albums ranking are a trio of albums by leading ladies: Thank U, Next by Ariana Grande, the A Star Is Born soundtrack by Lady Gaga alongside her co-star Bradley Cooper, and Lover by Swift. It’s the first time the top four are all credited to female artists. The last time the top four was so female-fueled was in 1996, when three albums by women, along with a soundtrack comprised nearly entirely of women, were the top four: Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, Mariah Carey’s Daydream, Celine Dion’s Falling Into You and the soundtrack to Waiting to Exhale.

Not only does Eilish nab the year-end top Billboard 200 album, but she’s also the year’s top new artist. Eilish is the first non-R&B or hip-hop act to be the year’s top new artist since pop vocal quintet One Direction in 2012. Also, Eilish follows 2018’s top new artist Cardi B, the first time solo women have been the year’s top new artist in consecutive years since Lady Gaga and Kesha in 2009 and 2019, respectively.

Continuing the year-end youth trend, 20-year-old Lil Nas X claims the No. 1 Hot 100 song of the year, “Old Town Road.” The track, which features Billy Ray Cyrus, spent a record-breaking 19 weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Hot 100. Lil Nas X, who turned 20 on April 9, is the youngest male artist with the year-end Hot 100 No. 1, and the second-youngest act ever to lead the year-end tally. He trails only a 19-year-old Lulu in 1967, who claimed the year’s most popular tune with “To Sir With Love.”

2019 Billboard Year in Music


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