Shawn Mendes dominates the Scoreboard in Week 5 of fall ’16, while Luke Bryan has a new EP and The Weeknd a new single.
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated October 15, 2016
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||Shawn Mendes||1||2||6: Treat You Better|
|2||Twenty One Pilots||7||2||2: Heathens|
|3||Drake||2||8||14: One Dance|
|5||Rihanna||9||4||10: This Is What You Came For|
|7||Luke Bryan||4||1||61: Move|
|8||Adele||15||1||16: Send My Love (To Your New Lover)|
|9||Ariana Grande||10||2||19: Side To Side|
|10||Justin Bieber||44||2||4: Cold Water|
Week 5 of the fall release season is filled with activity. The biggest move is at the top as Shawn Mendes records his first ever week at #1 on the Billboard Artist 100. He also takes the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 with his second album Illuminate. Besides Mendes’s earnest teenage pop, the Scoreboard this week highlights a new EP by country star Luke Bryan and The Weeknd‘s return to the Top 10.
The Chainsmokers have the #1 song in America for the eighth straight weekend
Shawn Mendes Illuminates
Teen pop has been a force in music for decades, and in the last ten years both Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber proved that it is possible to graduate bubblegum to mainstream pop success. Bieber was discovered on YouTube, and Shawn Mendes, a fellow Canadian four years younger than Bieber, got a record deal as a result of his covers on Vine. @shawnmendes first made the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014 with “Life Of The Party,” and went to #1 on the Billboard 200 with debut album Handwritten last spring. His mainstream arrival though was with “Stitches,” a catchy piece of pop fluff that went to #4 on the Hot 100 and spent a year on the charts.
On his second album Illuminate, released only 17 months after Handwritten, Mendes owns the ‘good guy’ persona, which is clear on current top 10 single “Treat You Better.” The video for “Treat You Better” displays the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and its take on domestic abuse is a subject not frequently encountered in the Top 10 of the Hot 100 (I can only think of Suzanne Vega‘s “Luka” from 1987). The spotlight Mendes puts on the subject is commendable and a good reminder that no one has to tolerate abuse. Indeed, it is also the strongest song on the album, applying the “Stitches” formula to a topic requiring more gravity. The rest of the album, unfortunately drowns in the swamp of teenage melodrama, with mostly slow, emotional songs whose number could be cut in half without affecting the album. Perhaps Mendes does not want to go the dance route that made big bucks for both Timberlake and Bieber in their latter careers, but there is a danger in the Philip Phillips playbook, which runs out of steam after a few promising singles. Which way will Shawn go? Depends on his own desires and those of his producers and management. For now though, he can enjoy being #1.
@shawnmendes looking more like Philip Phillips than Justin Bieber
Luke Bryan Goes On His Farm Tour
Country acts featured so far this fall season on the Scoreboard include Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean. Georgia-born Luke Bryan has been equally successful with 15 country airplay #1s since 2010. He is still riding the momentum of his 2015 release Kill The Lights, which has fifth single “Move” moving on the country top 10 right now. What is taking him to #7 on the Artist 100 this week is Farm Tour…Here’s To The Farmer, a five-song EP released on the eve of Bryan’s third annual farm tour. The tour is two weeks long and finishes in Effingham, Illinois, on October 15. On the EP, @lukebryan panders to the farming profession, especially on “Here’s To The Farmer.” In farm concerts, Bryan has found an innovative way to stay “Forever Country” by appealing to those who work the land. The EP strategy has also worked well – he released seven spring break EPs from 2009 to 2015, and the farm tour may set a new precedent of fall releases for Bryan.
Luke Bryan took his injured arm to a Farm Tour stop in Elizabethtown, Kentucky this week
The Weeknd’s Back
Like Shawn Mendes’s last album, The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness was released not that long ago. In fact, @theweeknd’s gap between albums is only 15 months. Last weeknd, he kicked off the Saturday Night Live season with two new songs off of his next album, Starboy, slated for release in November. The lead single of the two, “Starboy,” employs Daft Punk and rockets to #3 on this week’s Bilboard Hot 100. It looks like it will be a fall of brooding pop-R&B from @theweeknd just like last year. Check out the new video for “Starboy” below and the Scoreboard’s feature on The Weeknd from July here.