DaBaby Conquers Elite 100; Kevin Gates, The Beatles Reach Top 5

Nicolita Bradley
– DaBaby
Rolling Loud Bay Area 2019

He goes where he wants, including the top of the Elite 100 Artists chart! DaBaby released his latest album, Kirk, on Sept. 27 and it earned 209 million on-demand streams in its first week.

DaBaby led the chart in stream for the week ending Oct. 3. He also logged 8,100 album sales and 18,400 song sales to complement his massive streaming numbers.

The rapper just played a set at Rolling Loud Bay Area Sept.29 and is next set to perform at Rolling Loud NYC at Citi Field in New York Oct. 12.

Booked by Andrew Lieber and MAC Agency, DaBaby exploded onto the national scene with the success of his previous album, Baby On Baby, and it’s hit single “Suge.”

Lieber spoke to Pollstar about his strategy as an independent agent and his ability to go extra hard for his artists, specifically DaBaby and his last superstar client, Juice WRLD. “Everyone was telling me how crazy I was for what we did with Juice WRLD and it paid off tremendously. What we’re doing with DaBaby, a few less people are calling me crazy because of the success we had with Juice WRLD, but I still hear those conversations. But it’s not crazy, it’s aggressive and it’s smart.

“I learned from that experience, I learned how to position myself the right way [with Juice WRLD] and with DaBaby and his manager Arnold Taylor, the sky’s the limit. We’re gonna absolutely demolish it for him, we’re gonna crush it for him. And maybe there is a chip on my shoulder, but it’s gonna benefit DaBaby tremendously.”

Post Malone trailed only DaBaby in on-demand streams, with 194.4 million. Posty is still riding the success of his third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, and has become the chart’s weekly artist to beat at the top.

At No. 3 is Kevin Gates, who released I’m Him on Sept. 27. Gates’ music remains very popular, with 103.1 million streams and 10,600 album sales to boot, actually outperforming chart leader DaBaby in the latter category.

Gates announced the “I’m Him” tour in July, promising to “take everyone that comes out to see me on a journey of everything that I’m Him is. It’s going to be a movie.”

He has been racking up the streams, playing tons of shows and, most importantly, staying out of trouble after his release from prison inJanuary 2018. He was sentenced to 30 months after pleading guilty to felony gun possession, but was released early after nine months served.

The Beatles also surged this week after the release of a deluxe edition of Abbey Road. The Fab Four sold 39,600 albums on the week, sold 32,300 songs and generated 46.1 million streams, good enough for 80,900 total album units, getting them to No. 4 overall.

Paul and Ringo teamed up once more at Paul’s sold-out showat Dodger Stadium July 13, when his old drummer came to help him wrap up the “Freshen Up Tour.”

Whiskey Myers led the chart in album sales for the week, after the release of the group’s latest eponymous album. Pollstar spokewith Whiskey Myers’ frontman Cody Cannon in 2016, when he spoke about, among other things, revenue from sales and the band’s existence as an independent artist.

“Everything is changing,” Cannon said. “Usually people don’t sell the hard copies like they used to. Everything is changing, with streaming everybody is doing stuff more independently. It’s almost like everybody can make albums just as good out of their basement. It [will be] interesting to see what music is like for the business side of it 10 years from now. Hell, maybe there won’t be musicians and music anymore if these streaming sites don’t start paying us more damn money.”

Album sales may not have been a problem this week, as the group sold 41,500 albums for the week, the chart leader in that category, beating even The Beatles.

Jon Pardi
Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP
– Jon Pardi
Jon Pardi earns the new artist award during the CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Nov. 8.

Jon Pardi also made came in at No. 26 after the Sept. 27 release of Heartache Medication. Pardi graced the cover of Pollstar in2017, profiling his rise from the California farm town of Dixon to his Nashville arrival. His strongest metric was 21.4 million on-demand streams.

Sturgill Simpson also had a new project drop, SOUND & FURY. He logged 20,200 album sales for the week, pushing him to No. 41. Sturgill recently announced an underplay tour benefitting the Special Forces Foundation.

Young M.A. also dropped Herstory in the Making, getting her to No. 57, largely thanks to 25.2 million on-demand streams. She is also locked in for Rolling Loud NYC Oct. 12.

Summer Walker also charted with 25 million on-demand streams, despite the fact that her album, Over It, didn’t drop until Oct. 4, outside of the range for this chart. Many of those streams may thus have come from singles, and she might be even higher than the No. 68 position she occupies this week.

Speaking of next week, for the next Elite 100 Artists chart will include data on releases from Summer Walker, Brantley Gilbert, Angel Olsen, The Darkness, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Old Crow Medicine Show, North Mississippi Allstars, Wilco, Danny Brown, Alexa Rose, City and Colour, DIIV, The Menzingers, and Scarlxrd.

Also be on the lookout for new projects from Babymetal, Wale, Cody Jinks, Lil Kim, Blood Orange, Starcrawler, Big Thief, Casanova, Chris Knight, Lacuna Coil, Cursive, and Elbow.