Kendrick Lamar takes #1 across the major Billboard charts; John Mayer follows
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated May 6, 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||Kendrick Lamar||1||15||1: Humble|
|2||Ed Sheeran||4||2||2: Shape Of You|
|4||Bruno Mars||7||2||3: That’s What I Like|
|6||Chainsmokers||5||3||8: Something Just Like This|
|7||Future||8 & 21||3||5: Mask Off|
|8||Lady Gaga||55||1||39: The Cure|
|9||Weeknd||14||1||24: I Feel It Coming|
|10||Shawn Mendes||54||1||49: Mercy|
Every week somebody is #1 on the charts, but this week’s Scoreboard is special. Not only did Kendrick Lamar sweep the top across the Artist 100, the Billboard 200, and the Hot 100, but he also has the year’s biggest new album week with DAMN., which comes in with 603,000 in all-format album sales (besting Drake) and with 353,000 in physical album sales (besting Ed Sheeran). DAMN indeed. @kendricklamar’s “Humble” also takes #1 on the Hot 100, becoming his first solo #1 on the singles chart (Lamar first visited #1 on the Hot 100 as a featured artist on Taylor Swift‘s “Bad Blood.”) That also means that Ed Sheeran will need to have an improbable comeback with “Shape Of You” to pursue the Billboard record of most weeks at #1 on the Hot 100. @teddysphotos might as well rest on the laurels of having spent 12 weeks at #1. In the wake of Kendrick Lamar’s dominance, John Mayer has the week’s second biggest album after previewing it with two EPs earlier this year.
Kendrick Lamar’s Sweep
Two weeks ago when the single “Humble” first made it to the charts, Scoreboard wrote about Kendrick Lamar gearing up for the release of the Great Rap Album of 2017. Now that DAMN. is here it is certainly looking like it will be the Greatest Rap Album of the year. Achieving the biggest sales week of the year may only be the start of @kendricklamar’s dominance. All the tracks on the album make it to the Billboard Hot 100, with follow-up Single “DNA.” starting at #4 on this week’s singles chart. Check out The Knockturnal’s take on the music video here.
So how has Kendrick broken through to the top of the rap heap? Each of his studio albums has been epic. Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City was an urban story of his youth in Compton, a “short film” that is at #27 on the Billboard 200 this week, four and a half years after it first came out. The Grammy-winning To Pimp A Butterfly was less of a film and more of a collection of hip-hop statements, the biggest of which, “Alright,” became a de facto anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2015. Damn. follows as a reflection on Lamar’s fame and success. Despite collaborating with Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, and Sia, Lamar keeps his new album hitched to his Compton past and the bleak present of being an African-American in the U.S. On “XXX” U2, of all people, join as the featured act, with Bono providing an ominous chorus while @kendricklamar raps about how “the great American flag is wrapped and dragged with explosives.” It is a serious and political album, one that perhaps only Kendrick Lamar is able to deliver at 600 K albums in one week. DAMN, it’s hard to make it in America today, but at least @kendricklamar can provide a devastating commentary on why and how it is hard.
DAMN. Tour begins July 12, save the date!
John Mayer’s Search to be George Clooney
John Mayer has been making the rounds this year in anticipation of his latest album The Search For Everything, which this week comes in at #2 on the Billboard 200 and puts him at #3 on the Artist 100. Speaking to The New York Times in March, Mayer identified actor George Clooney as a role model. “There’s a guy who can make art house films and then just decide that he’s going to be in a blockbuster,” Mayer said then. The “art house films” of Mayer’s career were his previous two releases that left his popular adult top 40 sound behind for Americana and folk-rock. Now he is ready for the blockbuster and The Search For Everything is the comeback bid.
Many songs from the album have already been released – the Wave 1 EP previewing the album came in at #2 on the Billboard 200 12 weeks ago. Additional tracks released on the album do not deviate far from the waves that preceded it. The single “Still Feel Like Your Man,” first released on Wave 2, features a big-budget music video, in which Mayer dances with pandas. I guess it’s not surprising for Mayer to engage in antics like that to get attention, but he will have a hard climb on the Hot 100 given how few guitar-driven songs are charting in 2017. Perhaps having a decent adult top 40 album is achievement enough to call the comeback a success. @johnmayer can also try to literally be like Clooney and go into film, check out and comment on his acting in “Still Feel Like You Man” below: