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The Decade in Social Charts: Justin Bieber, BTS, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and More

Bieber and BTS have combined to lead the list for over 300 combined weeks since its 2010 launch.

At the end of the 2010s, Billboard‘s Social 50 chart looks quite a bit like it did at the turn of the decade, with some of the same stars high on the weekly list. Meanwhile, other artists have arrived and more than made their mark.

In January 2011, just after the Social 50 began (on Dec. 11, 2010), Justin Bieber crowned the survey for the first time. It was a position that he held on and off for the next five years; when he wasn’t No. 1 in certain weeks, it was really a bit of a shock. To date, he’s reigned for a record 163 weeks.

Similarly, since BTS‘ No. 1 debut on the Social 50 in October 2016, the South Korean pop septet has rarely spent a week away from the top spot. Its 154-week (and counting) run atop the tally includes an active streak that has seen the group at No. 1 each week dating to July 29, 2017.

Bieber and BTS are the only two acts to rule the Social 50 for more than 28 weeks, let alone 100 or, now, over 150. So, to see both in the top five of the decade-end ranking of the biggest artists on the Social 50 was certainly expected, and likely highly anticipated by their fervent fanbases.

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber attends a practice round prior to the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club on Aug. 8, 2017 in Charlotte, N.C. Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The Social 50 is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr. The chart’s methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers with artist page views and engagement.

As the end of the 2010s nears, Billboard has compiled 30 charts encompassing the decade, including the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and those covering social activity; all-genre streaming, radio airplay and song sales; all-genre touring activity; and the top songs and albums in country, rock, R&B/hip-hop, Latin, Christian, gospel and dance/electronic. (See below for decade-end chart methodologies.)

Beyond Bieber and BTS, there was much more to the Social 50 in the 2010s. In a bit of a rarity, over 150 other weeks this decade were crowned by other artists, and while some were often the bridesmaid rather than the bride, that didn’t stop them from accruing substantial chart points.

Bieber reigns as the Social 50’s No. 1 artist of the decade, and with good reason. In addition to his 163 weeks atop the chart, he’s spent 429 weeks on the tally in all, slotting him third all-time, after Rihanna (449) and Lady Gaga (435). Until his more recent sabbaticals from social media, which, of course, were largely broken toward the end of the decade, particularly in 2019, he was a mainstay on the chart, and often in its upper reaches.

Rihanna walks the runway during the FENTY PUMA by Rihanna as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018 on March 6, 2017 in Paris, France.
Rihanna walks the runway during the FENTY PUMA by Rihanna as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018 on March 6, 2017 in Paris, France.  Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage

Longevity similarly sparks Rihanna‘s ranking at No. 2. She was the chart’s first-ever No. 1, while her 21 weeks at No. 1 in all tie her for fourth all-time. As noted above, her 449 total weeks on the tally are unmatched.

Ariana Grande swoops in at No. 3 for the decade, having earned 18 weeks at No. 1 beginning in November 2014. Longevity is a key for Grande, as well, as she’s spent 353 weeks on the chart and the second-most weeks in the top five (208, second only to Bieber’s 326).

Then comes BTS. In addition to its 152 weeks at No. 1, the group has logged 161 weeks in all on the survey; and, of those nine other weeks, all were at No. 2. Really, the only reason that BTS places fourth despite its lengthy domination is the aforementioned greater longevity that other acts possess, as Bieber and Rihanna, for instance, had a half-decade’s chart headstart. Looking ahead, 2020, of course, puts BTS on a level playing field with other current stars for the next decade (and ahead of any other acts yet to make a social splash).

BTS
BTS Courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment

Rounding out the Social 50’s decade-end chart, Taylor Swift ranks at No. 5, thanks to 28 weeks at No. 1 in the 2010s, the third-most after Bieber and BTS. Swift has also logged 384 total weeks on the ranking.

Related

Beyond the Social 50, for overall Top Artists and genre-specific artist recaps, acts ranked Nos. 11 through 50 on each are viewable in our decade-end charts menu, while those at Nos. 10 through 6 will be revealed monthly leading up to the Billboard Music Awards, airing live on NBC on April 29, 2020, when No. 1 for each category will be announced from among five remaining finalists.

How We Charted the Decade: Billboard‘s decade-end recaps encompass chart performance from Dec. 5, 2009, through Sept. 28, 2019 (except for those for the Social 50, which began on Dec. 11, 2010, and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Streaming Songs, each of which launched on Jan. 26, 2013).

On the decade-end Hot Songs and Top Albums recaps, titles are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 on weekly charts earning the greatest value and weeks at lower positions earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology and title turnover rates over the decade, certain periods were weighted differently.

Top Artists recaps are ranked based on a formula blending performance, as outlined above, of all their chart entries. Specifically, the overall Top Artists category ranks the best-performing artists based on activity on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally, as well as social media data and touring revenue from Billboard Boxscore, while genre-focused Top Artists rankings blend acts’ decade-spanning performance on each genre’s main song and album charts (such as, for country, Hot Country Songs and Top Country Albums).

Billboard‘s decade-end touring charts are based on Billboard Boxscore data for performances between Dec. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2019.