Artists who have yet to reach their peak?

Businessman climbing a mountain, Business success concept

When do artists peak?

With which album?

One would expect artists to peak with their debut album more often than not. It’s untrue. Out of our database, sophomore albums have out-performed debut albums. In fact, 27% of the artists have peaked with their second era against 24% with their first. Artists frequently peaked with their albums 3-5 too. A key data is that 89% of music acts reach their peak during their first 6 albums. Basically, the likes Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, P!nk and even Miley Cyrus are unlikely to match their past success with their upcoming recordings.

If you reverse the point of view, the final column tells that a 6th album will best its 5 predecessors 8% of the time. If you are up to 8 albums already, your next efforts will be extremely unlikely to become your biggest. In case you wonder which 2 artists managed their peak after their 14th release, they are no other than Barbra Streisand and Cher.

After how many years?

Our 97 artists issued 106 albums during their first calendar year, 22% of these albums represented the career-high of their author. During each of their years 2 to 5, some 60% of acts will release an album. Nearly 1 on 5 will be the artists’ peak. After 8 years into the game, 84% of the artists won’t improve anymore. You have read it well: acts who started in 2011 or before only have a 16% chance to re-peak.

Stars like Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran debuted in 2011. In all likelihood, from now they will go down. The Weeknd‘s hey-days will reach their expiration date next year. Additionally, Ariana Grande is already inside the orange zone.

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So Taylor did break alot of those by having successful peak+1 (Reputation 9M worldwide), peak+2(Lover 8M worldwide) , Peak +3(Folklore 6M worldwide) , Peak+4 (Evermore 4M+ worldwide in a year), Peak +6 (Red tv 2M worldwide in 6 months). And she will do it again and again.


hi mjd would you ever release articles like these again i miss these type of content a lot


BTS really is a statistical anomaly, they could very well peak in their 9th year and 15th album.


BTS, blackpink has yet to peak. I see BTS’s next album doing 10 million sps in year. And bp 8 million in year.

I thought ed will even beat divide but bad habits , even though it is megahit falls short infront of divide’s singles and shivers too. Unless album suddenly smahes, i think divide is his peak


“The Weeknd‘s hey-days will reach their expiration date next year. Additionally, Ariana Grande is already inside the orange zone.” aged like milk


would you say After Hours will surpass BBTM eventually?


Yeaa.. this was written in May 2018. Blinding Lights is the literal most successful song in modern day history. After Hours is just about to cross 6 billion streams in under 2 years and on pace to become his most streamed album.”Take My Breath” on the other hand is speculated to be a non-album (filler) single. Personally I think the hype for the next album will only grow as After Hours was in a sense a re-introduction since his hiatus and last LP back in 2016. He’s 3rd most monthly listeners on Spotify without an album while ed and Bieber… Read more »


u overhyping the weeknd


well it seems this article stands true.. dawn fm was huge underperformce


yes i think so, taking in consideration that the weeknd’s statment was very specific
still, you’re right


Ella Mai, Dua Lipa and Lorde. Future stars.


I believe Ed Sheeran is a scary behemoth on sales esp noawadays, he seems to maybe have reached his peak? but who knows, Divide just keeps on selling so does X what would Addition would be maybe his peak? Even after a somewhat peak of Divide? :O . He just might end up beating Coldplay who is now on Survival mode in becoming relevant.


Shakira should absolutely be folded in here. If Laundry Service was indeed her peak, ‘Sale El Sol’ (peak+4), ‘Shakira.’ (peak+5) and ‘El Dorado’ (peak+6) may all rank interestingly here…


It wouldn’t be accurate to compare her English and Spanish discographies since her audience size and the market size for English vs. Spanish-language music are very different. With Céline Dion for example, her peak + 1 album is considered A New Day Has Come rather than S’il suffisait d’aimer.
That said I’d love to see an expanded list that includes Shakira’s (and Dion’s) separate discographies. One for bands and male artists would be very cool as well!