Pop Music 2017 Winners and Losers So Far

Paul Grein
Writer

The Weeknd, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Ed Sheeran all spent multiple weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in the first half of 2017. But such veteran hit-makers as Katy Perry and John Mayer set records they would probably just as soon forget.

Let’s scroll back through the past six months and look at pop music’s winners and losers so far this year.

Loser: Katy Perry

Witness debuted at No. 1 in its first week, but fell to No. 13 in its second week. It’s 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 missed the top 40. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Ed Sheeran

The British star’s “Shape of You” spent 12 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100, the longest stay by any song so far this year. His third album, ÷, sold 322K in traditional sales in its first week back in January, second only to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. for the year so far. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: John Mayer

The singer/guitarist’s The Search for Everything tumbled from No. 2 to No. 23 in May, becoming the first of his seven studio albums to log just one week in the top 20. The lead single, “Love on the Weekend,” only reached No. 53 on the Hot 100. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Kendrick Lamar

The rap star’s fourth studio album, DAMN., had the biggest sales week of the year so far — in both “equivalent units” (603K) and traditional album sales (353K). The album’s lead single, “Humble.,” is Lamar’s first No. 1 hit as a lead artist. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: Linkin Park

Earlier this month, the rock band’s seventh studio album, One More Light, plummeted from No. 1 to No. 30 in its second week. It’s the band’s first studio album to log just one week in the top 10. The lead single, “Heavy” (featuring Kiiara), peaked at No. 50. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Drake

The Canadian superstar’s “playlist” album More Life moved 505K in “equivalent units” when it debuted in March, second only to Lamar’s DAMN. for the year so far. Three songs from the album (“Fake Love,” “Passionfruit,” and “Portland”) have made the top 10. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Bruno Mars

The superstar’s third album, 24K Magic, has logged 30 consecutive weeks in the top 10. The title track and “That’s What I Like” have kept him on the radio non-stop. This makes up for the fact that the album didn’t quite reach No. 1. It debuted and peaked at No. 2. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: Lady Antebellum

The trio’s sixth non-holiday studio album, Heart Break, drops from No. 4 to No. 24 in its second week. It’s Lady A’s first studio album to log just one week in the top 20. The lead single, “You Look Good,” peaked at No. 59 (though it went top 10 country). (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Harry Styles

Styles’s first solo album debuted at No. 1 in May. The lead single, “Sign of the Times,” became a top five hit. Styles made solid singles with One Direction, but “Sign of the Times” took him several steps beyond those hits. Expect Styles to get major Grammy nominations. (Photo: Getty Images)

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. (Photo: Getty Images)
WALE

Winner: Justin Bieber

Even without a new album of his own, the Biebs dominated radio as featured artist on Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One,” and David Guetta’s “2U.” At one point in June, these were the top three digital sellers in the U.S. (Photo: Getty Images)

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 non-holiday studio album to miss the top 10 since 2001. The lead single, “Today,” stalled at No. 67 (though it went top 10 country). (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: The Chainsmokers

The duo has had at least one single in the top 10 on the Hot 100 for 60 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. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Lady Gaga

Admit it: You figured Gaga’s hit-making days were mostly behind her. Not so fast. Gaga slipped a new song, “Million Reasons,” into her half-time performance at the Super Bowl. Everyone had the same reaction: This is really good! Result: A top five hit on the Hot 100. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: Rascal Flatts

Earlier this month, Back to Us, the trio’s 10th non-holiday studio album, debuted and peaked at No. 11. It was the trio’s first non-holiday studio album to miss the top 10 since its 2000 debut album. The album peaked at No. 2 on the country chart. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Sam Hunt

The country singer’s frisky “Body like a Back Road” has topped the country chart for 20 weeks. It’s closing in on the all-time record (24 weeks) held by Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” Both songs crossed over to become top 10 hits on the Hot 100. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: Lea Michele

The singer’s sophomore album, Places, debuted and peaked at No. 28 in May. Her 2014 debut album, Louder, reached No. 4. Of course, back then Michele had a starring role in a hit TV series, Glee. (Photo: Getty Images)

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 hits by Post Malone, Calvin Harris, DJ Khaled, Drake, and Liam Payne. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: Josh Turner

The country star’s sixth studio album, Deep South, debuted and peaked at No. 18 in March. This broke a string of four consecutive top five albums by the South Carolina native. “Hometown Girl” stalled at No. 56 on the Hot 100 (though it went top five country). (Photo: Getty Images)

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. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: Seether

The rock band’s seventh studio album, Poison the Parish, debuted and peaked at No. 14 in May. This broke a string of four straight top 10 albums by the South African band. The lead single, “Let You Down,” didn’t crack the Hot 100 but topped the Mainstream Rock chart. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: The Weeknd

The Canadian star followed Beauty Behind the Madness, which logged three weeks at No. 1 in 2015, with Starboy, which had an even longer run on top (five weeks). The album’s first two singles, “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming,” both made the top five. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

The singer’s sixth album, The Nashville Sound, debuted at No. 4, his highest ranking to date. Expect the album to get some Grammy love. Isbell’s 2015 album, Something More Than Free, won as Best Americana Album. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: Willie Nelson

The country music legend turned 84 on April 29. A week later, he released a new album, God’s Problem Child. The album debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums and cracked the top 10 on he Billboard 200. Now, that’s aging gracefully. (Photo: Getty Images)

Loser: Diana Krall

Turn Up the Quiet, Krall’s 12th non-holiday studio album, debuted and peaked at No. 18 in May. That made it her first non-holiday studio album since 1999 to miss the top 10. (Photo: Getty Images)

Winner: The Beatles

A deluxe reissue of their 1967 opus Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in June. It marked the first time in chart history that a 50-year-old album had appeared in the top 10. Jolly good show! (Photo: Getty Images)