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Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo And The Kid Laroi: Teenagers Are Running The Albums Chart In America

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 11, 2021

The top 10 on this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart in America features new releases from the late, great Prince and hip-hop musician Isaiah Rashad, but it’s the highest three spaces, and the titles that occupy them, that show who really runs the music industry this week…or at least that one demographic is strong enough to conquer the most important albums ranking in the country.

This time around, the top three most-consumed albums in the U.S. are all by musicians who are still in their teens. It’s not necessarily common for an artist who isn’t yet 20 to appear inside the loftiest space on the Billboard 200, though it’s certainly not unheard of. There are usually only one or two names at a time who are popular enough at such a young age to score a top 10 title, but this week shows that it’s the youngest in the business who are scoring the biggest wins right now.

Billie Eilish leads the pack, as her sophomore album Happier Than Ever debuts at No. 1, bringing the Grammy winner back to the summit. The “NDA” star collects her second chart-topper this time around, which is impressive considering she’s only 19 years old. Amazingly, she’s still the elder statesman of the bunch, as she’s the closest to leaving her teenage years.

MORE FROM FORBESBillie Eilish Scores One Of The Biggest Debuts Of 2021 With Second No. 1 Album ‘Happier Than Ever’

Down one peg this frame is The Kid Laroi’s F*ck Love, which settles in the runner-up rung after vaulting to No. 1 for the first time last week. The Australian hip-hop/pop musician’s debut album required a full year to hit the summit on the Billboard 200, but he finally managed his first leader at the age of just 17. The set exploded in popularity thanks to the release of a new expanded edition which features several new songs, including the Justin Bieber collaboration “Stay.”

Like The Kid Laroi, Olivia Rodrigo steps back one space to No. 3, pushed down by Eilish’s incoming blockbuster. The singer-songwriter’s Sour, her debut project, is still selling and streaming exceptionally well, considering it has been out for months. The title blasted onto the Billboard 200 at No. 1 earlier this summer and it hasn’t vacated the upper reaches of the list since. Rodrigo is just 18, but she’s already landed one of the biggest albums of 2021 and two Hot 100 No. 1 smashes.

The music industry thrives on young, exciting new talent, but usually it takes years for a musician to develop a fan base large enough to score a top 10 album, let alone a No. 1 on the Billboard 200. So far this year, three artists who are still teenagers have hit the top spot, and they have cumulatively led the charge for more than a month. It’s clear that younger audiences are integral in powering the Billboard charts, and also that the trend of major labels propping up youthful acts and turning them into household names continues unabated.

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