This week on Scoreboard “The Greatest Showman” Soundtrack takes #1 and Grammy previews take a look at Lorde’s nomination for Album of the Year
Billboard Artist Top 10
For the magazine dated January 13, 2018
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||2||4||1: Perfect (Remix)|
|2||Imagine Dragons||7||2||4: Thunder|
|3||Taylor Swift||3||3||39: End Game|
|4||Kendrick Lamar||5||1||14: Love|
|5||Post Malone||8||3||3: Rockstar|
|7||Halsey||25||2||6: Bad At Love|
|8||Bruno Mars||15||2||32: That’s What I Like|
|9||Sam Smith||12||1||7: Too Good At Goodbyes|
|10||Demi Lovato||13||3||15: Sorry Not Sorry|
January tends to be a quiet month on the Billboard charts and that is the case this week as Ed Sheeran continues his reign on top of the Artist 100 and the Hot 100, where “Perfect (Remix)” ft. Beyoncé is at #1 for the fifth week in a row. However, there is a change on top of the Billboard 200 as the Soundtrack to The Greatest Showman takes over at #1. The film has been in wide release for four weeks and is nearing $100 million at the box office. Its popularity in theaters and a Golden Globe award helped the album become the first soundtrack on top of the Billboard 200 since Fifty Shades Darker ten months ago.
Kendrick Lamar, who is nominated for seven Grammys, surges to #4 on this week’s Artist 100
The Greatest Show on the Charts
Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land brought the sexy back for musicals a year ago. The film was a box office smash, becoming the 19th highest-grossing film released in 2016, and picked up six Academy Awards, but NOT Best Picture. Its soundtrack never topped the Billboard 200, but still finished as the #53 album of 2017. Although Chazelle did not direct The Greatest Showman, the new musical employed the songwriting services of La La Land‘s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and the album’s #1 bow affirms Pasek and Paul as champions of today’s musical film.
You can read the Knockturnal’s review of The Greatest Showman here.
Although the story of P.T. Barnum told in The Greatest Showman has received mixed reviews, most critics agree on the excellence of the film’s musical numbers. Listening to the soundtrack without seeing the film still communicates the feeling of the stakes faced by Barnum as he built his empire. “This Is Me” is the album centerpiece and the song that won the film its Golden Globe. It is the mission statement of the Barnum performers that pairs well with album’s high-energy jump-off “The Greatest Show.” Zendaya and Zac Efron bring the romance to “Rewrite The Stars,” which hearkens back to La La Land. While those are the soundtrack’s highlights, the most unfortunate feature of the album is the ubiquity of the film’s lead actor Hugh Jackman, who is not primarily a singer, and who spends a lot of his verses speaking or whispering over music. I’m sure it works better on the big screen, but if you’re streaming the soundtrack, you can skip his negotiation with Efron “The Other Side” and the first two minutes of album closer “From Now On.”
Benj Pasek (left) and Justin Paul (right) are the lyrical brains behind the success of “The Greatest Showman”
Grammys Preview: Lorde’s Melodrama Pays Off
Last year’s Grammys were defined by strong female presence in major categories and especially the contest between Adele and Beyoncé. Ultimately Adele collected more prizes (5 vs 2), including Album, Song, and Record of the Year. This year, no women are in the running for Record of the Year. Julia Michaels and Alessia Cara are both nominated for Best New Artist and both are also nominated for Song of the Year (Michaels for “Issues” and Cara as a featured vocalist on Logic‘s “1-800-273-8255” ft. Khalid). SZA is also competing for Best New Artist and has the most nominations among female performers, with five. In the run-up to the Grammys Scoreboard has already profiled Cara, SZA, and Michaels.
And then there’s Album of the Year. The only female nominee in the top category of the Grammys is Lorde with her second studio album Melodrama. The album took #1 in the summer of 2017 and when it first came out Scoreboard commended @lordemusic on navigating the bumpy terrain of transitioning from teen years into young adulthood. On it, Lorde transcended genre. Its dream pop found a niche on alternative radio and perhaps confused Grammy voters enough to NOT nominate the album for any award except Album of the Year. There are no female artists nominated for Rock Album or Alternative Album. When it comes to the Pop Album category six artists are nominated (including Imagine Dragons and Coldplay…who I guess the Grammys think don’t rock hard enough), including Kesha, Lady Gaga, and Lana Del Rey, but Lorde is missing.
So what do we make of Lorde’s Grammys chances here on the Scoreboard? She is certainly an underdog, but perhaps Melodrama can squeeze through if the Bruno Mars/Childish Gambino and the Kendrick Lamar/Jay-Z votes cancel each other out. Plus she won twice already, including for 2013’s Song of the Year, “Royals.” The melodrama of the Grammys arrives in two weeks, get your popcorn ready!
Lorde just turned 21 in November, she can drink whiskey legally in the U.S.