Drake is the top artist in the U.S. for a second week, as he holds atop the Billboard Artist 100 chart. The rap titan fends off alt-rockers Imagine Dragons, who vault 22-2 as their album Smoke + Mirrors arrives at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales charts.
The Artist 100 is the first weekly survey dedicated to measuring artist activity across Billboard‘s most influential charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, Top Album Sales and the Social 50. The Artist 100 blends data measuring album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.
Drake keeps at No. 1 on the Artist 100 despite a 37 percent downturn in activity. He rocketed 21-1 last week, becoming the first rapper to rule the Artist 100, as his surprise album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late launched at No. 1 on Top Album Sales with 495,000 copies sold in the week ending Feb. 15, according to Nielsen Music. (Drake released the new set unexpectedly late Thursday, Feb. 12.)
This week, the set drops 1-2 on Top Album Sales with 129,000 (down 74 percent) in the week ending Feb. 22. Album sales again account for the majority (47 percent) of his Artist 100 points. As previously reported, Drake sets a record for the most concurrent titles on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, 21, with all 17 tracks from the new album inhabiting the chart.
Imagine Dragons finish a close second on the Artist 100, marking their first week in the top 10; they’d previously ranked as high as No. 14 (for a week in November and again three weeks ago).
The band zooms with a 390 percent increase, with album sales marking 74 percent of its Artist 100 points total. Not only does Smoke + Mirrors start at No. 1 on Top Album Sales with 172,000 copies sold, but the group’s 2012 breakthrough Night Visions also blasts 68-24 with a 52 percent increase to 10,000.
On the Hot 100, the new album’s lead single, “I Bet My Life,” reaches the top 40, charging 54-28.
Rounding out the Artist 100’s top five, Taylor Swift descends 2-3, Ed Sheeran dips 3-4 and Maroon 5 holds at No. 5.
In other Artist 100 highlights, Ellie Goulding reaches the top 10 for the first time (13-10), as her single “Love Me Like You Do,” from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, surges 6-3 on the Hot 100; Texas red-dirt artist Aaron Watson is the top new entry on the Artist 100 (No. 44), as he starts at No. 1 on Top Country Albums with The Underdog; and, a legend enters the Artist 100 (which launched last July) for the first time: Stevie Wonder, at No. 65. Album sales account for the bulk of his Artist 100 sum (89 percent), with his overall total up by 480 percent following the Feb. 16 CBS airing of Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life – An All-Star Grammy Salute. The special featured guest stars including Tony Bennett, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Sheeran and more.