Music's chart winners and losers of 2017

Paul Grein
Writer

Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Kendrick Lamar all set enviable records in 2017, but such veteran hit makers as Fergie, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus set records they would probably just as soon forget. Let’s scroll back through the past year and look at pop music’s winners and losers of 2017. 

Loser: Miley Cyrus

Younger Now spent just a single week in the top 10; Cyrus’s previous commercial pop album, Bangerz, logged eight weeks in the top 10. “Malibu,” the mellow lead single from Younger Now, didn’t have the impact of the harder-edged hits from Bangerz.
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Winner: Taylor Swift

In November 2017, the megastar enhanced her “reputation” as the hottest American hit maker when her sixth studio album, Reputation, sold more than 1 million copies in its first week. It was her fourth album in a row to achieve that feat.
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Loser: Fergie

Double Dutchess, the singer’s first solo studio album since her 2006 blockbuster The Dutchess, barely made the top 20. The 11-year gap between albums didn’t help. Five singles from The Dutchess made the top five; no singles from Double Dutchess made the top 20.
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Winner: Jay-Z

4:44 became the rapper’s 14th album to reach No. 1. He’s second only to the Beatles, who had 19 No. 1 albums. At year’s end, Jay-Z received eight Grammy noms, more than any other artist this year, including Album, Record, and Song of the Year.
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Loser: Katy Perry

Witness was Perry’s first studio album to spend just one week in the top 10 since 2008’s One of the Boys. The lead single, “Chained to the Rhythm,” reached No. 4, but the two follow-ups, “Bon Appétit” and “Swish Swish,” missed the top 40.
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Winner: Kesha

Rainbow, the first album that the pop star recorded without her producer-mentor Dr. Luke, debuted at No. 1 and spawned a powerful hit single, “Praying.” It was practically the theme song of the “#MeToo” movement.
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Winner: Ed Sheeran

The British star’s third album, ÷, spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and spawned three top 10 hits on the Hot 100: “Shape of You,” “Castle on the Hill” and “Perfect.” The only down note: The Grammys snubbed Sheeran in its top three categories.
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Loser: Calvin Harris

The Scot’s fifth studio album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, released in June, debuted at No. 2 but faded quickly. But Harris got some good news at year’s end: His first Grammy nom in the key category of Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.
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Winner: Kendrick Lamar

The rap star’s fourth studio album, DAMN., spent four weeks at No. 1. The album’s lead single, “Humble.,” was Lamar’s first No. 1 hit as a lead artist. Lamar earned seven Grammy nominations, including Album and Record of the Year.
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Loser: John Mayer

The singer-guitarist’s The Search for Everything became the first of his seven studio albums to log just one week in the top 20. The lead single, “Love on the Weekend,” stalled at No. 53 on the Hot 100.
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Winner: Bruno Mars

The superstar’s third album, 24K Magic, spent its first 33 weeks in the top 10. The title track and “That’s What I Like” kept him on the radio nonstop. At year’s end, he received six Grammy noms, including Album, Record and Song of the Year.
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Loser: John Legend

The artist’s fifth studio album, Darkness and Light, released in December 2016, got lost in the holiday crush and never recovered. This was surprising, because his previous album, Love in the Future, was a big hit and spawned his first No. 1 smash, “All of Me.”
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Winners: Harry Styles and Niall Horan

The first solo albums by these One Directioners both debuted at No. 1. 1D are the first group since the Beatles with three past or present members who landed No. 1 albums on their own. Zayn’s first solo album debuted at No. 1 last year.
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Loser: Brad Paisley

The country star’s 11th studio album, Love and War, debuted and peaked at No. 13 in May. It was his first nonholiday studio album to miss the top 10 since 2001. On the plus side, he made a winning series of TV commercials and was solid co-hosting the CMAs.
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Winner: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee

The Latin/pop smash “Despacito” (featuring Justin Bieber) was the first single in more than 20 years to top the Hot 100 for 16 weeks. And it paved the way for other Latin-edged hits, including “Mi Gente” and “Havana.”
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Winner: Justin Bieber

Even without a new album of his own, the Biebs dominated radio as featured artist on a pair of No. 1 hits: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” and DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One.”
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Loser: Wale

The hip-hopper’s fifth studio album, Shine, debuted and peaked at No. 16 in May. His three studio albums before that — Ambition, The Gifted, and The Album About Nothing — all reached No. 1 or No. 2.
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Winner: P!nk

The veteran star landed her second No. 1 album in a row, received the VMAs’ Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and earned a CMA nom for a country collaboration with Kenny Chesney. Not bad for a singer 17 years into her career.
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Winner: Future

The rapper did something in February that no one had ever done before: He entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 with two albums (FUTURE and HNDRXX) in back-to-back weeks. “Mask Off,” from FUTURE, became his first top five hit.
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Loser: Diana Krall

Turn Up the Quiet, the latest by the Canadian jazz/pop singer, debuted and peaked at No. 18 in May. That made it her first nonholiday studio album since 1999 to miss the top 10.
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Winner: Drake

The Canadian superstar’s “playlist” album More Life spent two weeks at No. 1. Three songs from the album (“Fake Love,” “Passionfruit,” and “Portland”) made the top 10. Drake didn’t submit his album for Grammy consideration. He doesn’t need it.
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Winner: The Chainsmokers

The duo had at least one single in the top 10 on the Hot 100 for 61 consecutive weeks. Only one artist has had a longer continuous stay in the top 10. Katy Perry had at least one song in the top 10 for 69 consecutive weeks in 2010-11.
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Winner: Sam Hunt

The country singer’s frisky “Body Like a Back Road” topped the country chart for a record-breaking 34 weeks. It broke a record that was held by Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” Both songs made the top 10 on the Hot 100, a rarity for a country song.
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Winner: Migos

The hip-hop trio reached No. 1 with their single “Bad and Boujee” and their sophomore album, Culture. The trio’s Quavo became one of the year’s hottest featured artists, thanks to top 10 hits by Post Malone, DJ Khaled, Drake, and Liam Payne.
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Winner: Logic

His smash “1-800-273-8255” (featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid) made the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline as familiar to young music fans as the phone number of their local Domino’s. Plus, Logic landed his first No. 1 album, Everybody.
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Loser: Sheryl Crow

Crow’s ninth studio album, Be Myself, debuted and peaked at No. 22 in May, becoming her first studio album to miss the top 10.
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