Although down 11 percent in overall activity, Swift gains by 12 percent in social metrics. (She leads the Social 50 for a lucky 13th week.) Her 17 weeks atop the Artist 100, which launched in July 2014, are easily the most. Sam Smith ranks second with three total weeks at No. 1.
Big Sean Scores His First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200
Big Sean vaults to the Artist 100's runner-up rank, up 424 percent in chart points. Album sales account for more than two-thirds of his chart action, as Dark Sky Paradise starts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 (with 173,000 units, according to Nielsen Music) and Top Album Sales (139,000 in pure sales).
Rounding out the Artist 100's top five, Ed Sheeran rebounds 4-3; Drake drops 1-4 after two weeks at the pinnacle, having become the first rapper to rule the Artist 100; and Kid Rock scores the chart's highest debut, at No. 5, thanks mostly (85 percent) to the arrival of his album First Kiss. The set starts at No. 2, directly below Big Sean's new release, on both the Billboard 200 (146,000) and Top Album Sales (137,000).
Beyond the Artist 100's top 10, roots rockers Blues Traveler enter at No. 87, entirely from sales of four of the group's classic albums rereleased on vinyl. The John Popper-led band's Four (which originally hit the Billboard 200 in 1994), Blues Traveler (a non-charting release in 1990), Travelers & Thieves (1991) and Save His Soul (1993) chart on Top Album Sales at Nos. 91, 94, 95 and 96, with each registering sales of approximately 4,000, all from vinyl. The sets start, respectively, at Nos. 2-5 on the Vinyl Albums chart.
Blues Traveler tallied its two Hot 100 hits 20 years ago: "Run-Around," which reached No. 8, and "Hook" (No. 23). The band is readying the release of its 12th studio album, Blow Up the Moon, set to feature guests including Jewel, Plain White T's and 'N Sync's JC Chasez.