He's also only the eighth country act to top the chart in its three-year history.
Kenny Chesney re-enters the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated Nov. 18) at No. 1 to become the top musical act in the U.S. for the first time. He follows Chris Stapleton and Thomas Rhett as just the third country artist to lead the chart this year and the ninth ever to re-enter at the chart's summit.
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.
Chesney's return is powered by his new live album Live in No Shoes Nation, which opens at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 219,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music. The set is the third by a country act to top the Billboard 200 in 2017, following Rhett's Life Changes and Shania Twain's Now. (Only one album led the list in 2016: Jason Aldean's They Don't Know.)