Despite a 4 percent drop in activity, Swift returns for her milestone week atop the Artist 100 (which launched in July 2014). Sam Smith is a distant runner-up for second-most weeks at No. 1: three.
Swift rules the Artist 100 after a week's break, as Kendrick Lamar blasted 82-1 (a record vault) last week. This week, the pop singer and rapper (1-2) reverse ranks. Lamar crowned the Artist 100 last week thanks to the bow of To Pimp a Butterfly at No. 1 on Top Album Sales (324,000 sold, according to Nielsen Music); album sales accounted for 82 percent of his Artist 100 points sum. This week, the album drops by 67 percent in pure album sales (to 107,000) and his Artist 100 total deflates by 58 percent (with album sales marking a still-hefty 75 percent of his sum).
Joining Swift and Lamar in the Artist 100's top five, Maroon 5, Ed Sheeran and Drake hold at Nos. 3-5, respectively.
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Among other notable Artist 100 action, fueled by the start of her new single "B**** Better Have My Money," which soars onto the Hot 100 at No. 23, Rihanna rockets to her best Artist 100 rank yet, up 14 spots to No. 11. She'd previously charted as high as No. 20 on the Artist 100 on Feb. 28 (her sole prior week in the top 20); that week, her "FourFiveSeconds," with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, rose to its No. 4 peak on the Hot 100. Rihanna surges to her new Artist 100 highpoint with a 73 percent gain in overall activity and with the majority (58 percent) of her chart points from digital song sales.k
British singer-songwriter James Bay bows at No. 49 on the Artist 100 as his debut full-length Chaos and the Calm enters Top Album Sales at No. 12 with 20,000 copies sold. Lead single "Hold Back the River" jumps 19-17 on Adult Alternative Songs this week and debuts at No. 38 on both Adult Pop Songs and Alternative Songs.
Plus, nearly a half-century after he first appeared on a Billboard chart, Van Morrison bows on the Artist 100. The revered Irish singer-songwriter enters at No. 59, powered by the start of his new album, Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue, which begins on Top Album Sales at No. 11 with 21,000 sold. The set sports duets of mostly deep Van Morrison cuts with guests including Michael Buble, Joss Stone and Steve Winwood, as well as his daughter Shana, who has toured with her father for several years.