This week’s Scoreboard spotlights major album releases from DJ Khaled and Imagine Dragons
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated July 15, 2017
See the full chart at http://www.billboard.com/charts/artist-100
|Billboard Artist Top 10||Name||Billboard 200 Album Rank||Billboard Hot 100 Singles||Highest Charting Single|
|1||Imagine Dragons||2||2||6: Believer|
|2||DJ Khaled||1||6||2: I’m The One|
|3||Bruno Mars||9||3||4: That’s What I Like|
|4||Ed Sheeran||7||2||5: Shape Of You|
|5||Kendrick Lamar||3||6||7: Humble|
|7||Justin Bieber||94||3||1: Despacito (Remix)|
|9||Shawn Mendes||28||1||18: There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back|
|10||Sam Hunt||50||1||12: Body Like A Back Road|
It’s midyear on Scoreboard and this week’s competition on the Billboard charts was especially heated. On the Billboard 200 DJ Khaled barely won the battle for #1 with new album Grateful, which sold just two thousand equivalent albums more than Evolve, the third studio album by rock group Imagine Dragons. However, @imaginedragons beat out @djkhaled for #1 on the Artist 100, on which they are on top for the first time ever. There was less competition for the top of the Hot 100, where “Despacito (Remix)” by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and Justin Bieber reigns at #1 for the eighth week in a row.
Prince is back in the Artist Top 10 due to the release of the deluxe edition of the Purple Rain soundtrack, which originally came out in 1984
Another One! DJ Khaled’s Grateful Week
Last year @djkhaled took #1 for the first time on the Billboard 200 with Major Key. It has only been 10 months and Khaled Mohamed Khaled is back at #1 with Grateful, an even bigger all-star compilation than his 2016 release. Grateful promos began with Beyoncé and Jay-Z on the breezy “Shining” and the Hot 100 #1 jam “I’m The One” with Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, Chance The Rapper, and Quavo of Migos. Then in June came a new Drake collaboration “To The Max” and the current Billboard Hot 100 #3 hit “Wild Thoughts” feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. Even before the album came out @djkhaled snagged 4 of the top 6 Billboard artists of 2016 (however, there are no sightings of Adele or Twenty One Pilots). And now that Grateful is out, the roster of artists is one to behold. By my count, there are 36 collaborators and five different songs on which we hear from Future. Having set a Billboard 200 record this year with two back-to-back new #1 albums, it is not surprising that Future Hendrix is the most ubiquitous guest on Grateful.
With 23 tracks, 88 minutes of music, and 36 guests Grateful provides a new level of sensory overload even for seasoned @djkhaled fans. How has DJ Khaled gotten so prolific for album #10? Perhaps Khaled kicked his work into such a high gear after becoming a father at age 41 in October. References to his son Asahd are hard to miss. There is Asahd chilling in the pool on the album cover. There is Asahd signing off on the album’s final track. There is a song called “I Love You So Much,” a Jackson 5-invoking children’s ditty with the squeaky clean Chance The Rapper. If you follow Khaled on social media, you know that Asahd is the center of attention even as @djkhaled continues to be a human meme. If Asahd has inspired Khaled to work harder, he deserves a “bless up” for all the hits Khaled fans will be grateful to hear this summer.
Major Key Alert! Khaled is celebrating his #1 album with Belaire!
Imagine Dragons Evolve
It is not easy to release a new album the same week as @djkhaled, but the Nevada rockers Imagine Dragons have what it takes to challenge Khaled and take #1 on the Artist 100. The band broke through in 2012 with debut album Night Visions and their hit “Radioactive,” which spent 87 weeks spent on the Billboard Hot 100, setting a record for most weeks spent on the chart by any song. The band’s sophomore release, 2014’s Smoke + Mirrors, sold six times fewer albums than their debut, so for their third album Evolve the group evolved back to the formula that made the band’s first album so successful. Exhibit A is the single “Believer,” which has taken @imaginedragons to the top 10 of the Hot 100; it is at #6 on this week’s chart. The rocking dystopia of “Believer” recalls the sound of “Radioactive;” the hit will undoubtedly be used on sports segments this summer and fall.
Beyond “Believer” Evolve features a mix of electronic and hip-hop influences on the @imaginedragons rock canvas. On “Whatever It Takes” Dan Reynolds offers his best attempt at rapping, taking the band in the direction of Linkin Park and Twenty One Pilots. However, not all tracks skew towards the genre-bending of 2010’s rock. Second single “Thunder” is a traditional rock metaphor tying one’s life progression with a natural phenomenon. You can hear the “Thunder” boom from the biggest rock band of 2017 below: