2018 Billboard year-end charts: Drake tops ranking, Swift’s ‘Reputation’ biggest album
Drake is king of Billboard’s 2018 year-end charts, as the superstar leads the year-end Top Artists ranking.
Thanks in large part to his Billboard 200-topping album Scorpion and its bevy of hit singles on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart, including the No. 1 Hot 100 song of the year, “God’s Plan.” Drake leads both year-end tallies for the first time.
The 32-year-old rapper-singer is the first rap act to be the overall top artist of the year since 2005 and just the third rap artist to lead the category.
Only 50 Cent (in 2005 and 2003) and Nelly (2002) have managed the feat previously.
Billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance on Billboard’s charts dated Dec. 2, 2017, to Nov. 17, 2018.
The year-end Top Artists category ranks the best-performing acts of the year based on activity on the Billboard 200 albums tally and the Billboard Hot 100 songs list, as well as streaming, social media and Billboard Boxscore data.
Data registered before or after a title’s chart run is not considered in these standings.
That methodology detail, and the December-to-November time period, account for some of the differences between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Nielsen Music.
Explore All of Billboard’s 2018 Year-End Charts
Toronto-born Drake is also the first Canadian male to be the year’s top artist.
The only other Canadian to take home the honor is singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, who was tops in 1996 following the success of her smash album Jagged Little Pill.
Following a male-dominated 2017, where no women ranked in the year-end top 10 overall artists (for the first time since 1984), a trio of leading ladies finish in the top 10 on the Top Artists tally.
This year, the year’s top female artist — Taylor Swift — ranks at No. 4 on the overall Top Artists tally. She’s joined by the year’s top new artist, Cardi B, at No. 5 and Camila Cabello at No. 10. Rounding out the six ladies in the top 20: Ariana Grande at No. 14, followed by Dua Lipa (No. 19) and Halsey (No. 20).
In 2017, just two women were among the top 20: Grande (No. 15) and Rihanna (No. 19).
Swift tops the year-end Billboard 200 Albums recap with reputation, making her the first act to have the year’s top album with three different releases.
She previously did it in 2015 with 1989 and in 2009 with Fearless. (Adele has claimed the year-end No. 1 Billboard 200 album three times as well, but with two albums: 25, in 2015, and twice with 21, in 2011 and 2012.)