Taylor Swift Back Atop Billboard Artist 100, Big Sean Blasts to No. 2

Michael Stewart/WireImage
Taylor Swift performs during New Year's Eve 2015 at Times Square on Dec. 31, 2014 in New York City. 

Swift returns for a record-extending 17th week at No. 1, while Big Sean surges 32-2 thanks to the start of his album 'Dark Sky Paradise.'

Taylor Swift returns to her familiar perch atop the Billboard Artist 100 chart, rebounding 3-1 for a record-extending 17th week at the summit. She holds off Big Sean, who rockets 32-2 as his album Dark Sky Paradise debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales charts.

The Artist 100 is the first weekly survey dedicated to measuring artist activity across Billboard's most influential charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, Top Album Sales 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.

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.

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