Royal Wedding Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason Debuts Atop Emerging Artists Chart

Lars Borges/Kensington Palace via Getty Images
Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Plus, 'The Voice' and 'American Idol' finalists scale the top five.

British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 19, who performed at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Emerging Artists chart (dated June 2).

The Emerging Artists chart ranks the most popular developing artists of the week, using the same formula as the all-encompassing Billboard Artist 100, which measures artist activity across multiple Billboard charts, including the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and the Social 50. (The Artist 100 lists the most popular acts, overall, of the week.) However, the Emerging Artists chart excludes acts that have notched a top 25 entry on either the Hot 100 or Billboard 200, as well as artists that have achieved two or more top 10s on Billboard's "Hot" song genre charts and/or consumption-based "Top" album genre rankings.

Kanneh-Mason debuts on the strength of his album Inspiration, which bows at No. 13 on the all-genre Top Album Sales chart and vaults from No. 14 to No. 1 on Traditional Classical Albums with 9,000 copies sold in the week ending May 24, up a staggering 21,436 percent from a nominal amount, according to Nielsen Music. The set earns the biggest sales week for a traditional classical album by an artist in over nine years.

Inspiration concurrently re-enters the overall Classical Albums chart at No. 1, just ahead of The Royal Wedding: The Official Album, which debuts at No. 2 and includes three tracks by Kanneh-Mason.

Further, Kanneh-Mason debuts eight tracks on the Classical Digital Song Sales chart, led by “Ave Maria, D. 839 (Arr. Hazell)” at No. 1.

Kanneh-Mason is the first classical artist to summit the Emerging Artists chart. In a sonic switch, he succeeds rapper Lil Baby, who spent one week at No. 1 and graduates from the chart as his single “Yes Indeed,” with Drake, vaults 49-6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Among other Emerging Artists moves, finalists from The Voice and American Idol  dominate the top five after each show's latest season finale.

Voice winner Brynn Cartelli vaults 31-2 as her "Walk My Way," which she performed on the May 22 episode, bows at No. 8 on Digital Song Sales with 23,000 downloads sold. Runner-up Britton Buchanan leaps 28-3 as his "Where You Come From" debuts at No. 15 on Digital Song Sales with 21,000 downloads sold, while launching at No. 10 on Hot Rock Songs.

Meanwhile, Idol winner Maddie Poppe arrives at No. 4 on Emerging Artists, as her coronation single "Going Going Gone" starts at No. 13 on Digital Song Sales with 21,000 downloads sold.

Check out this week's full Emerging Artists chart here.

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