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The Year In Rock 2013: Imagine Dragons Top Billboard’s Year-End Rock Rankings

Imagine Dragons wasn't just hot in 2013. The Las Vegas group was positively "Radioactive," and it winds up the year as Billboard's Top Rock Artist of 2013.

Imagine Dragons weren’t just hot in 2013. The Las Vegas group was positively “Radioactive,” and it winds up the year as Billboard’s Top Rock Artist of 2013.

Year-End Charts: Top Rock Artists | Albums | Songs

“Definitely, all our heads are spinning a little bit,” frontman Dan Reynolds told Billboard earlier this year. “It seems like every day gets a little crazier than the day previous. But we couldn’t be happier. We’re doing what we love. We’re seeing a lot of the world and traveling around and playing music, which is what we love more than anything. So I really can’t complain, y’know … even though we haven’t been home in, like, a year now. We’re living the dream.”

2013: The Year in Music

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Reynolds and company truly had the kind of year artists only dream about. “Night Visions,” Imagine Dragons’ debut full-length album, is the No. 2 Rock Album and Alternative Album of the year (behind Mumford & Sons’ third consecutive No. 1 Rock Album) and No. 6 on the year-end Billboard 200. It’s sold 1.7 million copies since its Sept. 2012 release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Alternative Albums chart. The set has spawned three smash singles in “It’s Time, “Radioactive” and “Demons,” while “Radioactive” fueled the ride with No. 1 showings on the Hot Rock Songs, Alternative Songs, Alternative Digital Songs, Rock Airplay, Rock Digital Songs and Rock Streaming Songs charts, as well as No. 3 placements on the Billboard Hot 100 and Digital Songs.

As noted above, Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” gives the British folk-rockers their third straight No. 1 finish on the Top Rock Albums chart and helps them weigh in as the No. 5 Top Rock Artist for 2013. “Babel,” also the year’s top Alternative Album, was also in the top spot last year, while its predecessor, 2009’s “Sigh No More,” held the summit for 2011.

Some other newbies are Imagine Dragons’ main company on the Top Rock Artists chart this year. The Lumineers land at No. 2 on the strength of their self-titled debut album, which is the No. 3 Rock and Alternative Album of the year and is No. 13 for the year on the Billboard 200. The single “Ho Hey,” meanwhile, is the No. 2 Hot Rock Song, the No. 3 Rock Digital Song, and the No. 12 Rock Airplay track. It’s also No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary and Adult Pop Songs charts, No. 3 on Alternative Digital Songs and No. 12 on the Hot 100. The band’s follow-up, “Stubborn Love,” finishes at No. 13 on Rock Airplay.
New Zealand’s Lorde may have been left off the Grammy Awards’ Best New Artist nominees list, but she’s still Billboard’s No. 3 Rock Artist of 2013, thanks mostly to her hit single “Royals.” The song finishes at No. 3 on the Hot Rock Songs chart, No. 2 on the Rock Digital and Rock Streaming Songs charts and No. 11 on Rock Airplay. It’s also No. 12 on Alternative Songs and No. 15 on the Hot 100, while her debut album “Pure Heroine” is the No. 14 Rock Album of the year and the No. 10 Alternative Album.


2013’s No. 4 Rock Artist, “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips, stayed strong during the year after winning the series in 2012, with “The World From the Side of the Moon” ranking at No. 4 on the year-end Rock Albums chart. Phillips’ first single, “Home,” is No. 9 on Hot Rock Songs and No. 4 on both Adult Contemporary and Adult Pop Songs, while its successor “Gone, Gone, Gone” is on No. 10 on Hot Rock Songs and No. 12 on Rock Digital Songs.

Last year’s Top Rock Artist, fun., settles down to a still-respectable No. 6 for 2013, with “Some Nights” and “Carry On” finishing at No. 11 and 14, respectively, on the Hot Rock Songs chart and the “Some Nights” album at No. 5 on Top Rock Albums.

Recapping Billboard’s specific rock radio format charts, Imagine Dragons are the top Alternative Songs artist and their “Radioactive” is the tally’s top title of 2013 (as noted above). Mumford & Sons are the year’s top Adult Alternative Songs act, with the Lumineers’ ” Stubborn Love” the format’s top song.

2013 was also a good year for Three Days Grace, the No. 1 Mainstream Rock act, while Michigan heavy rockers Pop Evil’s “Trenches” is the year’s No. 1 Mainstream Rock track.

Billboard Rocked in ’13 (Click for Cover Stories)