U2 re-enters the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated Dec. 23) at No. 1 and reigns as the top musical act in the U.S. for the first time, thanks to the chart arrival of the band’s new album, Songs of Experience, which debuts atop the Billboard 200 with 186,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music.
The Artist 100, which launched in July 2014, measures artist activity across key metrics of music consumption, blending album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.
U2 is the 10th act to re-enter the Artist 100 at No. 1 and the sixth this year, following JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Kenny Chesney.
Album sales account for nearly all of U2’s Artist 100 points (97 percent). As previously noted, U2 becomes the first group to have notched No. 1s on the Billboard 200 in the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and ’10s.
Rounding out the Artist 100’s top five, Ed Sheeran holds at No. 2, Chris Stapleton vaults 39-3 on the strength of his new set From A Room: Volume 2, which launches at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 (125,000 units); Taylor Swift drops to No. 4 after a record 36 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1; and Pentatonix dips 4-5.
Among other Artist 100 moves, Beyonce ranks in the top 10, blasting 71-10, for the first time since the March 4-dated chart. She was added as a duet partner to Ed Sheeran’s formerly solo song “Perfect,” which, following its first full week of tracking, hits No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. She peaked at No. 2 on the Artist 100 in May 2016, sparked by her most recent album, Lemonade.
Check out this week’s full Artist 100 here.