Chart Beat

Niall Horan Becomes Third One Direction Member to Top Billboard Artist 100

Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik,
Charley Gallay/AMA2014/Getty Images for DCP

Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik attend the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 23, 2014 in Los Angeles.

One Direction is the only group to have at least one member hit No. 1 solo ... and now three have.

Niall Horan is the top musical act in the U.S., as the pop singer-songwriter leaps 24-1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated Nov. 11). Horan follows Zayn and Harry Styles as the third member of One Direction to top the list.

Aside from One Direction (which peaked at No. 2 in December 2014), no other group has seen any of its members rule the Artist 100, never mind three.

The Artist 100, which launched in July 2014, measures artist activity across key metrics of music consumption, blending album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.

Horan tops the ranking on the strength of his debut solo album Flicker, which concurrently opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 152,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music. Album sales contribute to the majority of Horan’s Artist 100 points (79 percent), followed by radio airplay (8 percent).

Rounding out the Artist 100’s top five, last week’s champion, P!nk, dips to No. 2, Ed Sheeran holds at No. 3, Imagine Dragons fall 2-4, and Taylor Swift rises 6-5. Each act in the top five has topped the Artist 100, marking the first quintet of leaders at Nos. 1-5 since the Sept. 2-dated list, when Kesha spent her first week at No. 1, trailed by Bruno Mars, Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar.

Among other chart moves, Young Dolph is the sole debut on the chart this week, as the rapper debuts at No. 75 on the strength of his fourth studio album Thinking Out Loud, which arrives at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 (26,000 units).