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Taylor Swift Wins Close Race Over Shawn Mendes Atop Billboard Artist 100

Swift holds onto the top spot despite a feverish surge by Mendes, who debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales.

Taylor Swift narrowly defeats Shawn Mendes for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated May 2). Swift remains at the summit over Mendes, whose debut album Handwritten enters 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.


Despite a 15 percent downturn in activity, Swift rules the Artist 100 for a 23rd week, easily the most of any act since the chart’s July 2014 inception.

Shawn Mendes’ ‘Handwritten’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart

Swift fends off Mendes, who makes the biggest vault (95-2) since the Artist 100 launched last July. His 93-spot leap surpasses Missy Elliott‘s 83-rung rise (97-14) on the Feb. 21 chart following her guest spot on Katy Perry‘s Super Bowl halftime performance. Mendes surges by 691 percent as Handwritten launches with 106,000 in pure album sales (which account for 93 percent of his Artist 100 standing), according to Nielsen Music.

Helping Swift maintain her top rank over newcomer Mendes is her wide lead in radio, digital song sales, social and streaming metrics, fueled by her nearly decade-long catalog of hits and established superstar status.

Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ Tops Hot 100 for Second Week

Rounding out the Artist 100 top five, Hot 100 leader Wiz Khalifa holds at No. 3, Maroon 5 dips 2-4 and Ed Sheeran drops 4-5.

In other Artist 100 action, Sawyer Fredericks — one of the eight remaining hopefuls on the eighth season of NBC’s The Voice — debuts at No. 82. The folk/rock singer (a member of Team Pharrell in the competition) starts with all his activity from digital song sales, as his cover of John Lennon‘s “Imagine” enters Digital Songs at No. 25 with 46,000 downloads sold. Fredericks performed the song on the show’s April 13 episode.

Fredericks’ version of “Imagine” also begins on the Hot 100 at No. 98, marking the fifth cover of the classic to reach the chart. After Lennon’s original rose to No. 3 in 1971, remakes followed by Tracie Spencer (No. 85, 1989), Jack Johnson (No. 90, 2007), former American Idol finalist David Archuleta (No. 36, 2008) and the Glee cast (No. 67, 2009), prior to Fredericks’. Thus, the last three charted takes on the song have stemmed from TV shows.