Believe it or not, 2018 is coming to an end sooner than you think. That means it’s almost time for critics to start revealing which artists they feel dominated this year in terms of music. There are two months left of 2018, which is still plenty of time for even more artists to come and potentially steal the spotlight. Until then, let’s reflect on who has killed the game so far this year with their music, and which artists have impacted your year more than you know!
Hip-hop artist Post Malone has seen massive success this year with his second studio album, “beerbongs and bentleys.” “Rockstar,” the albums lead single, features rapper 21 Savage, and was officially released Sept. 15, 2017. The single debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and later peaked at No. 1. “Rockstar” also broke the single week streaming record on Apple Music with 25 million streams in its first week.
On Oct. 20, 2017, “Candy Paint” was released as the albums first promotional single. The song peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is certified Platinum in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Malone stayed quiet for a few months, not releasing anything until early 2018, when the album’s anticipation really began to grow.
“Psycho,” which features rapper Ty Dolla Sign, was released Feb. 23, 2018, as the third single leading up to the albums release. The track debuted at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and peaked at No. 1 in June 2018, making it Malone’s second No. 1 hit on the Hot 100.
“beerbongs and bentleys” was officially released by Republic Records on April 27, 2018. It debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 461,000 album-equivalent units, 153,000 of those being pure sales. The album’s most recent single, “Better Now,” was sent to U.S. contemporary hit radio June 5, 2018. The track peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 and currently has over 500 million streams. “beerbongs and bentleys” is officially certified 2x Platinum in the U.S., according to the RIAA.
Throughout his second era, Malone went on to win Song of the Year at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards with “Rockstar,” along with Top Rap Song at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.
Rapper Cardi B has had a great year herself, earning a No. 1 album and three No. 1 singles. Her debut single “Bodak Yellow” was released June 16, 2017, making its debut on the Hot 100 during the week of July 22 at No. 85. Two months later, the track peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100. “Bodak Yellow” is officially certified 6x Platinum in the U.S., according the RIAA. It also reached No. 1 on U.S. urban contemporary radio.
Since her debut single, Cardi’s career has skyrocketed through the roof. On April 5, 2018, the rapper released her debut album “Invasion of Privacy.” It topped the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, debuting with 255,000 units its first week, 103,000 of those being pure sales. That same week, “I Like It,” which features Latin artists Bad Bunny and J Balvin, debuted at No. 8 on the Hot 100 chart, despite not receiving any promotion. Due to the instant success of the track, Cardi made the track an official single on May 25 by sending it to urban contemporary radio and releasing the music video a week later. Shortly after, “I Like It,” climbed up to No. 1 on the Hot 100, making Cardi the first ever female rapper to top the Hot 100 with more than one single. “I Like It” has been certified 4x Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA and has over 500 million streams on Spotify.
Cardi didn’t stop there. The rapper hopped on Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You,” released May 30, 2018. The track debuted at No. 94 on the Hot 100 after just one day of tracking, and shot up to No. 4 after a full-week tracking period. “Girls Like You” ended up spending six weeks at No. 2 on the chart, behind Drake’s “In My Feelings,” before it peaked at No. 1 during its 17th official charting week. The remix is officially certified Platinum in the U.S., according to the RIAA and has over 400 million streams on Spotify.
Throughout her debut era, Cardi received the award for Top Rap Female Artist at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, as well as Best New Artist at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards. Cardi released her brand new single “Money” Tuesday, Oct. 23.
Former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello achieved a ton this year with her debut solo album “Camila.” The albums lead single “Havana” was released Aug. 3, 2017, and reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 early October. The track officially went No. 1 the same week as the albums release, making Cabello the first female artist since Nelly Furtado in 2006 to top both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 chart simultaneously. “Havana” has been certified 8x Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA and is the most streamed song by a female artist on Spotify with over 1 billion streams.
Originally released Dec. 7, 2017 as a promotional single, “Never Be the Same” was sent to U.S. contemporary hit radio on Jan. 9, 2018, serving as the album’s second single. The track peaked at No. 6 on the Hot 100 chart and is certified 2x Platinum in the U.S., according to the RIAA. Cabello officially released her debut through Epic Records on Jan. 12. It debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 119,000 album-equivalent units and was just recently certified Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA.
On Feb. 14, 2018, Cabello announced her “Never Be the Same” tour. Less than 24 hours after the announcement, all 37 dates had sold out. Aside from her solo tour, Cabello was one of the opening acts on Taylor Swift’s “reputation Stadium Tour,” where she opened a total of 45 shows. Throughout her debut era, Cabello received several awards. These include the Billboard Chart Achievement Award and New Artist of the Year at the 2018 American Music Awards.
Cabello is closing out her debut era with her latest single “Consequences,” which impacted adult contemporary radio on Oct. 22, along with a romantic music video that features Dylan Sprouse.
Multi-platinum rapper Drake has had a great year with his fifth studio album “Scorpion.” The albums lead single, “God’s Plan” was released Jan. 19, 2018. It debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with 82 million streams and 127,000 downloads in the U.S. during its first week. The song topped the Hot 100 for 11 consecutive weeks, becoming the 24th song in the charts history to hold the No. 1 spot for that long. “God’s Plan” has been certified 8x Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA and has over 1 billion streams on Spotify.
“Nice for What” was released April 6, 2018, as the album’s second single. The track debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100 with 60 million streams and 88,000 total downloads in its first week. “Nice for What” became the 30th song in Billboard Hot 100 history to debut at No. 1 and Drake’s fifth U.S. No. 1 song, topping the Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks.
“Scorpion” was officially released June 29, 2018. The album debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 732,000 total units, 160,000 being pure sales. At the time, this was the biggest first week of an album in 2018. The album, so far, has landed Drake three No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and has made him the most listened to artist in the world on Spotify with over 45 million monthly listeners.
“In My Feelings” was released as a single July 17, 2018. The track debuted at No. 6 on the Hot 100 during album release week, despite receiving no specific promotion. Following its release as an official single, “In My Feelings” shot up to No. 1, due to the rising popularity of the songs dance challenge that went viral. The song officially broke the streaming record for the most streams in a single week, with a whopping 116 million streams.
Over the course of the year, Drake has won the award for Top Billboard 200 Artist at the and Video of the Year at the 2018 BET Awards with “God’s Plan.” Not to mention, Drake went on tour with multi-platinum selling rap group Migos, selling out every show so far. The tour is set to conclude Nov. 18, 2018.
Although not being released until the second half of the year, Travis Scott’s third studio album “ASTROWORLD” made him out to be one of the biggest artists of 2018. The album’s lead single, “BUTTERFLY EFFECT” was released back in May, 2017. It peaked at No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is certified 2x Platinum in the U.S., according to the RIAA. “ASTROWORLD” was officially announced through social media on July 30, 2018, alongside a trailer to the album. The album was officially released Aug. 3, 2018 by Cactus Hustle Records, Epic Records, and Grand Hustle Records.
“ASTROWORLD” debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart with 537,000 album-equivalent units, 270,000 coming from pure sales. The album officially had the second-largest first week units of the year, behind Drake’s “Scorpion.” After a full tracking week, all 17 tracks from the album debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, two in which debuted in the top 10.
“ASTROWORLD” managed to sell another 205,000 units its second week, resulting in the album staying put at the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. On Aug. 21, “SICKO MODE” was released as the album’s second official single. It peaked at No. 4 on the Hot 100 and is certified Platinum, according to the RIAA. “ASTROWORLD” was officially certified Platinum by the RIAA on Sept. 21, 2018. Scott is nominated for two awards at this years People’s Choice Awards- Album of the Year, and Song of the Year with “BUTTERFLY EFFECT.”
Undoubtedly, 2018 has been a massive year in terms of music. All five of these artists landed themselves a No. 1 album, at least two top 10’s, and all broke some major records. Not to mention, they were the artists playing in everyone’s speaker at some point throughout this year. However, do any of them have what it takes to take home the title for biggest artist of the year? Or will someone else come along and steal the spotlight? Only time can tell.
Which of these five artists do YOU think have dominated 2018 the most so far? Comment with your choice below!