This week on Scoreboard country star Luke Bryan takes #1 on the Billboard 200 and Grammy previews continue with Julia Michaels
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated December 30, 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||3||3||1: Perfect (Remix)|
|2||Taylor Swift||2||3||37: Ready For It|
|4||Luke Bryan||1||1||65: Light It Up|
|5||Post Malone||10||3||2: Rockstar|
|6||Imagine Dragons||17||2||5: Thunder|
|7||Sam Smith||8||1||7: Too Good For Goodbyes|
|8||Camila Cabello||–||2||3: Havana|
|10||Beyoncé||–||1||1: Perfect (Remix)|
Two of the top three Billboard charts have turnover at #1 this week. On the Billboard 200 country star Luke Bryan takes #1 with his sixth album What Makes You Country. Bryan also moves up to #4 on the Artist 100, where Ed Sheeran returns to #1 after 36 weeks away from the pole position. Sheeran’s momentum is driven by the success of “Perfect (Remix)” feat. Beyoncé that tops the Hot 100 for the second week in a row. Next week’s Scoreboard will cover the year-end charts and there is high probability that Sheeran will top some of those year-end charts.
Mariah Carey’s 23-year-old “All I Want For Christmas Is You” reaches an all-time peak of #9 on the Hot 100 this week
Luke Bryan Defines Country
Luke Bryan, a native of Leesburg, Georgia, has become one of the biggest country stars of the decade. Since 2010 he had 20 songs go to #1 either on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Hot Country Airplay charts. Among those #1s was “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” off of his previous album Kill The Lights. The song has become an identity statement of sorts for Bryan, who is a co-owner of Buck Commander, a company that sells hunting gear and apparel. On the new album What Makes You Country Bryan keeps the huntin’ fishin’ theme going with songs such as “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” and with a line about how he was “running bird dogs through them Georgia pines” on the title track.
The definition of country has loosened over the years as a number of stars, the biggest of which was Taylor Swift, successfully crossed genre lines to the pop charts. Bryan’s hits have also borrowed from pop, though his dabbling in mainstream has been more limited than that of Sam Hunt and Florida-Georgia Line. The man still needs to hunt and fish and love and sell Buck Commander product everyday. Yet among songs about the outdoors and exes (“Light It Up” just became his 21st country #1), Bryan delivers a surprise on the new album. On “Most People Are Good” @lukebryan contemplates all the good in the world, but goes beyond that by singing “you love who you love / ain’t nothing you should ever be ashamed of,” a subtle endorsement of love in all its forms, and a significant statement for one of country’s biggest stars to include on his latest album. With What Makes You Country, Bryan makes the genre’s tent just a bit wider, ending 2017 on a positive note.
Luke Bryan and his son huntin’
Grammys Preview: Julia Michaels
This year’s Grammy Awards have quite a heated race for Best New Artist. Over the last three weeks Scoreboard featured three of the candidates for the award: Khalid, Alessia Cara, and SZA. Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert is also in the running, you can read Scoreboard’s feature on him from September here. The fifth and final candidate for the award is Iowa-born, California-based singer-songwriter Julia Michaels, who had her first hit this year with “Issues” at age 23. On it, Michaels admits to having issues, but also opens up to her partner to “bask in the glory of all our problems,” a Millennial statement of vulnerability that is fitful for an anxiety-filled 2017. The Grammy voters noticed not only Michaels’ confessional talent, but also nominated “Issues” for Song of the Year.
Earlier in her career @imjmichaels focused on songwriting for other artists, which she continued to do in 2017. One of her recent writing credits is the Justin Bieber and Bloodpop collaboration “Friends” that peaked at #20 on the Hot 100. A remix of “Friends” featured Michaels on vocals and proved that @imjmichaels can keep up on a fast-paced song. Yet Michaels’ strength is the gravity she brings to ballads. Check out the video for “Issues” below and check Scoreboard every week in the leadup to the Grammys to get to know nominated artists.