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August 26, 2015

Billboard.com – Following his NBC special, the singer-songwriter hits the top at last in his 60th week on the chart.

Ed Sheeran is the newly-crowned top musical act in the U.S. for the first time, bounding 7-1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated Sept. 5).

The Artist 100 measures artist activity across Billboard’s most influential charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, Top Album Sales and the Social 50. The Artist 100 blends data measuring album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.

Sheeran reaches the Artist 100’s summit at last, hitting No. 1 in his 60th week on the survey (completing a record climb). Not that he hadn’t come close to the top: he’s ranked in the top 20 each week since the chart premiered July 19, 2014 and has resided in the top 10 each frame dating to Oct. 25; he’d previously spent four nonconsecutive weeks ranking as high as No. 2.

Sheeran zooms to the top with a 94 percent gain in overall activity, highlighted by a 339 percent surge in album sales. Reflecting the rise, his 2014 album x jumps 7-2 on Top Album Sales with a 378 percent increase to 80,000, according to Nielsen Music, following his Aug. 16 NBC concert special, Ed Sheeran – Live at Wembley Stadium, and the set’s temporary 99-cent discount-pricing in the Google Play store. Meanwhile, his current single “Photograph” keeps at its No. 15 high on the Hot 100.

As Sheeran rewrites the steadiest ride to No. 1 on the Artist 100, the act that set the longevity mark last week (Aug. 29) dips to No. 2: Luke Bryan hit the summit for the first time in his 59th week; he’s down by 58 percent in activity as his Kill the Lights dims by 74 percent (to a still impressive 83,000, following its hefty 320,000-unit start) and holds at No. 1 on Top Album Sales.

The Weeknd (3-3), Taylor Swift (4-4) and Drake (6-5) round out the Artist 100’s top five.

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