Ed Sheeran is the top musical act in the U.S., returning to No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated March 25), as his new album ÷ (Divide) debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and its lead single "Shape of You" scores a seventh week atop the Billboard Hot 100.
The Artist 100 (which launched in July 2014) measures artist activity across key metrics of music consumption, blending album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.
Sheeran notches his third total week atop the Artist 100 with a monstrous 372 percent increase in overall activity, as his new set arrives as his second No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 451,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending March 9, according to Nielsen Music, the largest debut of 2017. Of that sum, 71 percent (322,000) is from traditional album sales, also the highest weekly total this year. Album sales mark Sheeran's greatest share of points on the Artist 100 (61 percent).
On the Hot 100, "Shape" heads up 13 songs from ÷ all on the chart. Of 10 titles that debut from the set, romantic ballad "Perfect " makes the highest start, at No. 37.
Rounding out the latest Artist 100's top five, Bruno Mars holds at No. 2; Future falls to No. 3 after two consecutive (and three total) weeks at No. 1; Metallica blasts 14-4, as its former Billboard 200 leader Hardwired… To Self-Destruct jumps 14-2 on the tally, owed mostly to a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion with the band's stadium tour that went on sale on Feb. 17; and The Weeknd dips 4-5.
Check out this week's entire Artist 100 here.