Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers re-enter the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated Oct. 21) at No. 1 to become the top musical act in the U.S. The late rock icon and his longtime band rule the chart for the second time, following his death Oct. 2.
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.
Petty returns to the chart at the summit with a monstrous 10,413 percent surge in overall activity. He and the band previously topped the tally dated Aug. 16, 2014 (five weeks after the chart launched). They had last appeared on the chart on Sept. 6, 2014.
Petty is, sadly, the third act to lead the chart posthumously, following Prince on the May 7 and 14, 2016-dated charts after his death that April 21, and David Bowie on the Jan. 30, 2016-dated chart after his death on Jan. 10. Additionally this year, Linkin Park led the Aug. 12-dated list after frontman Chester Bennington's death on July 20.
Album sales account for the majority of Petty's Artist 100 points (54 percent), followed by digital song sales (32 percent), and streaming (11 percent). Petty boasts five albums on the Billboard 200, led by his and the Heartbreakers' Greatest Hits, which re-enters at a new No. 2 peak with 84,000 equivalent album units (up 2,231 percent).