This week Ed Sheeran takes #1 on the Artist 100 and the Hot 100; Scoreboard’s Grammy spotlight takes a look at Justin Bieber’s chances to win Album of the Year.
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated January 28, 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||Ed Sheeran||26||2||1: Shape Of You|
|3||Bruno Mars||4||1||7: 24K Magic|
|4||Drake||7||4||11: Fake Love|
|5||Twenty One Pilots||13||1||18: Heathens|
|6||Shawn Mendes||17||2||23: Mercy|
|7||Ariana Grande||18||1||9: Side To Side|
|8||Rihanna||11||2||19: Love On The Brain|
|9||Adele||22||1||33: Water Under The Bridge|
For established artists, comebacks are often more a reflection of the success of their previous releases than the new material. Both The Weeknd and Bruno Mars have enjoyed strong returns to the charts over the last three months after notching three combined Hot 100 #1s in 2015. This week, it’s Ed Sheeran‘s turn, whose two new singles land at #1 and #6 on the Hot 100 and put him at #1 on the Artist 100. The Weeknd maintains his #1 grip on the Billboard 200 with Starboy, while “Bad And Boujee” by Migos ft. Lil Uzi Vert slides to #2 on the Hot 100, though will likely come back to #1 after the Ed Sheeran momentum wears off.
Boston Celtic punk rockers The Dropkick Murphys have the week’s biggest new album, which puts them at #16 on the Artist 100
Ed Sheeran Gets Back To Work
Ed Sheeran broke out in Britain in 2011 and while his first single “The A Team” made it to #16 on the Hot 100 in 2012, his true American arrival was in 2014 with his second album x and four top 20 singles. The singer-songwriter, who goes by @teddysphotos on Instagram, earned some early star endorsements from Elton John and Taylor Swift and it was only a matter of time until he was personally caught up in celebrity gossip with single “Don’t.” Although Sheeran has tried to rap on some of his upbeat tracks, most notably “Sing,” the big bucks came from ballads, none bigger than “Thinking Out Loud,” which went to #2 on the Hot 100 in 2015 and was named the year’s #2 song by Billboard (it was blocked from #1 by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson and their “Uptown Funk” on both fronts). Besides benefiting from the success of his solo work, Sheeran has become an in-demand songwriter, writing for Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, One Direction, and Justin Bieber.
After being Billboard’s #2 Artist of 2015, Sheeran dipped to #90 for 2016, but this week he is back with “Castle On The Hill” and “Shape Of You.” The former is a Bruce Springsteen-like reminiscence about growing up in Framlingham, his hometown northeast of London. The latter is the new #1 on the Hot 100, Sheeran’s first on that chart, and has @teddysphotos get into a tropical love mood channeling Justin Timberlake and Sia‘s “Cheap Thrills.” “Shape Of You” was originally intended for Rihanna and that explains Sheeran’s newly-found playfulness. The single expands Sheeran’s repertoire and bodes well for ÷ (Divide), his third album that is set for release in March. @teddysphotos has done well with his mathematical symbols so far, expect him to represent on the Scoreboard deep into 2017.
How @teddysphotos celebrates being #1 on the Billboards
Grammys Preview: Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber had a very busy seven years in showbiz, though two years ago things were not exactly looking up. In 2014 he was charged with vandalism and dangerous driving. His chart accomplishments were also in the rearview – at that point he has not been to the Top 10 of the Hot 100 since 2012’s “Beauty And The Beat.” @justinbieber clearly needed some rebranding and the album he worked on in the lab became Purpose, a singles-driven dance album intended to put his extracurriculars behind. On the title track he even got into Christian pop, begging “forgive me for my sins, oh would you please,” though he stayed defiantly shirtless on the album cover (an alternative cover was issued for Indonesia and Arab League countries). He earned real atonement with “Sorry,” three minutes of fire that took him to #1 on the Hot 100 and buried the past for good and finished as the #2 Hot 100 hit of 2016, proving that it was not too late to apologize.
For all the success of “Sorry,” the #1 Hot 100 hit of 2016 was adjacent album track “Love Yourself,” on which Bieber employed Ed Sheeran for the songwriting. The result was one of the biggest kiss-offs of all time and made “my mama don’t like you and she likes everyone” one of 2016’s most-quoted lyrics. At the Grammys, “Love Yourself” is nominated for Song of the Year and Pop Solo Performance. Unfortunately @justinbieber goes up against Adele and Beyoncé in both of those categories. That face-off also applies to Album of the Year (Drake and Sturgill Simpson are also in the mix), where odds are unfortunately stacked against Purpose. Why, you ask? On one hand, having the #1 and #2 hits of 2016 is a huge boon, but outside its five singles Purpose packs 13 tracks of bloat with Big Sean, Travis Scott, Halsey, and even Nas lost in the deluxe edition. Purpose may win the Pop Album Grammy for the hits, but even if @justinbieber goes home Grammy-less his apology has been accepted in 2016.
— Fontainebleau (@Fontainebleau) December 29, 2016
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 28, 2016
@justinbieber has some back-to-back Christian book and the hottest poolside party in Miami promotions on Twitter