Chart Beat

The Year in Charts 2020: Post Malone Is the Top Artist for the Second Year in a Row

Plus: Taylor Swift is top female artist, BTS is top duo/group and Roddy Ricch is top new artist.

For the second year in a row, Post Malone is No. 1 on Billboard’s year-end Top Artists chart -- the first time an act has gone back-to-back as the year’s top artist since Adele in 2011 and 2012. Post Malone is also the first male artist to lead the list in consecutive years since Garth Brooks in 1992 and 1993.

The singer-songwriter-rapper, 25, finishes 2020 as the top artist thanks heavily to the sustained success of his third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, on the Billboard 200 chart (and the continued chart runs of his two earlier albums, Beerbongs & Bentleys and Stoney), along with eight hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart during the 2020 tracking period, including the record-breaking No. 1 hit “Circles.”

Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts dated Nov. 23, 2019, through Nov. 14, 2020. The rankings for Nielsen Music/MRC Data-based year-end recaps reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming during the weeks that the titles appeared on a respective chart during the tracking year. Any activity registered before or after a title’s chart run isn’t considered in these rankings. That methodology detail, and the November-November time period, account for some of the difference between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The Top Artists and Top New Artists recaps ranks the best-performing overall acts, and new acts, of the year based on activity on the Billboard 200 albums tally, the Billboard Hot 100 songs list, as well as Billboard Boxscore (touring) and the Social 50 chart for the 2020 tracking period.

Explore All of Billboard’s 2020 Year-End Charts

Post Malone is also the year’s top male artist, while Taylor Swift is the top female artist (No. 9 on the overall Top Artists tally) and BTS is the top duo/group (No. 18 on the overall ranking). Rapper Roddy Ricch (No. 3 overall) leads the 2020 Top New Artists chart.

This is Swift’s fifth go-round as the year’s top female artist (she was also tops in 2018, 2015, 2013 and 2009), while BTS is top duo/group for the first time. The former collected her seventh No. 1 album on the weekly Billboard 200 in 2020 with Folklore and notched her sixth Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with “Cardigan.” Meanwhile, during the 2020 chart year (again, Nov. 23, 2019-Nov. 14, 2020), Korean pop group BTS scored its fourth No. 1 album with Map of the Soul: 7 and claimed its first two No. 1s on the Hot 100 with “Dynamite” and its turn on Jawsh 685 and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat).” BTS is the first non-U.S. act to be the year’s top duo/group since British/Irish boy band One Direction led in both 2015 and 2014.

Post Malone also has the No. 1 album on the year-end Billboard 200 Albums chart, as Hollywood’s Bleeding finishes in first place. He is the first artist since Adele in 2016 to have the top album and also be the top artist of the year. (She managed the feat with her 25 album.)

Hollywood’s Bleeding debuted on at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 chart dated Sept. 21, 2019, and spent five weeks at No. 1 during the 2019 chart year. When the 2020 chart year began with the Nov. 23, 2019-dated rankings, Bleeding was still in the top 10 on the weekly Billboard 200, and would continue to rank in the weekly top 15 for the rest of the 52-week 2020 tracking period (through the Nov. 14, 2020-dated chart).

2020 is the fourth consecutive year that Post Malone has placed at least one album among the top 10 on year-end Billboard 200 Albums chart. In 2019, Beerbongs & Bentleys was No. 5, while Bleeding was No. 9. In 2018, Beerbongs & Bentleys was No. 3 and Stoney was No. 8. And in 2017, Stoney placed at No. 7. In 2020, Beerbongs & Bentleys finishes at No. 23 on the year-end Billboard 200, while Stoney ranks at No. 45.

Trailing Hollywood’s Bleeding on the year-end Billboard 200 Albums list is Lil Baby’s My Turn at No. 2 and Roddy Ricch’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial (No. 3). It’s the first time since 2017 that the top three albums on the year-end Billboard 200 also charted on the weekly Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Harry Styles’ Fine Line and Taylor Swift’s Folklore round out the top five of the year-end Billboard 200 recap. 2020 marks the third straight year that Swift has landed an album in the year-end top 10.

The Nos. 6-10 titles on the 2020 year-end Billboard 200 Albums chart are, in order, Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake, Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, The Weeknd’s After Hours, Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die and Luke Combs’ What You See Is What You Get. What You See is the first album to have appeared on Billboard's weekly Top Country Albums chart to rank in the Billboard 200 Albums year-end top 10 since 2016, when Chris Stapleton’s Traveller was No. 7.

With Swift the lone woman among the top 10 year-end Billboard 200 Albums, it’s the first time the top 10 has been so male-driven since 2017, when not a single album credited to a woman (or female-fronted group) was among the top 10.

Post Malone’s striking success in 2020 was not limited to the Billboard 200, as he also claims the No. 2 title on the year-end Hot 100 Songs chart with “Circles.” Like its parent album Bleeding, “Circles” began its chart life on the Hot 100 late in the 2019 chart year, on the Sept. 14, 2019-dated chart (at No. 7). It then spent the next 38 weeks in a row in the top 10 (including three weeks at No. 1), with 28 of those in the 2020 chart year. For good measure, it added one final week in the top 10 on July 4, 2020, bringing its total top 10 weeks to 39.

Amid this epic top 10 run, “Circles” broke Post Malone’s own then-record for the most weeks in the top 10 when it hit its 34th week in the region. It beat the 33 weeks racked up by “Sunflower,” his co-billed collaboration with Swae Lee.

Ahead of “Circles” on the year-end Hot 100 Songs recap is another record-breaking phenomenon, as The Weeknd lands his first year-end No. 1 with “Blinding Lights.” The track spent four nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 during the 2020 tracking period and logged 38 weeks in the top 10 during the 2020 chart year. (It has since surpassed the top 10 record of “Circles” and is currently at 41 weeks in the region, through the Dec. 5-dated chart.)

The year’s top new artist Roddy Ricch scores the year-end No. 3 title on the Hot 100 Songs chart with “The Box,” while he also places at No. 5 as the featured artist on DaBaby’s “Rockstar.”

Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” is the No. 4 year-end Hot 100 song and also the highest-ranking tune by a female artist. Harry Styles' “Adore You” is No. 6, followed by Future’s “Life Is Good,” featuring Drake, at No. 7; Maroon 5’s “Memories” at No. 8 (the highest-ranked song by a duo/group); Maren Morris’ “The Bones” at No. 9; and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved” at No. 10.