‘Billboard’ Dubs Eminem As Decade’s Top Artist, Rolling Stones as Top Touring Act

Becky Bain | December 16, 2009 12:13 pm

Marshall Mathers has done it again. Billboard is following in Nielsen Soundscan’s footsteps and naming Eminem as the Top Artist of the Decade. Six of the seven studio recordings Em released in this decade — hell yes, we’re counting the 8 Mile soundtrack — reached or debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, while two of his 20 songs to chart on the Hot 100 singles tally hit the top spot there (“Lose Yourself” and “Crack a Bottle”).

In Billboard’s eyes, it’s still ultimately album sales that count the most (understandably so — sorry, Artist With The Most Number One Hits). But we’ve all pretty much shifted to a shuffle/singles world. Will the 00’s be remembered as the last decade that albums “mattered”? We’re nervous about the future — vomit on our sweater already — but excited.

See who trailed Eminem on the big list, and look who followed Mick & Keith on Billboard’s list of this decade’s (and probably the previous decade’s) biggest tours as the industry magazine cleans out the rest of its closet after the jump.

Top 10 Artists of the Decade

1. Eminem 2. Usher 3. Nelly 4. Beyonce 5. Alicia Keys 6. 50 Cent 7. Nickelback 8. Britney Spears 9. Destiny’s Child 10. Jay-Z

This list makes little sense to us when we first go over it. Nickelback? Nelly?! Not exactly critical darlings that are still being buzzed about anymore, but just goes to show just how crazy successful they were for a brief amount of time. At least Em logically lands on top, since he’s maintained his following from the start to the finish of the decade, even when taking a three year absence from making music.

Top 10 Touring Acts of the Decade

1. Rolling Stones 2. U2 3. Madonna 4. Bruce Springsteen 5. Elton John 6. Celine Dion 7. Dave Matthews Band 8. Kenny Cheney 9. Bon Jovi 10. Billy Joel

The Rolling Stones topped the list with a total gross of $869,471,325 over the course of 264 shows (190 of them sold out). It’s interesting to note that not one of Billboard’s Top Artists of the Decade ranked as biggest touring act. In fact, most of these artists who banked the most by touring earned their notoriety in previous decades. It’s clearly indicative just how long you need to build a fan base that would go see you no matter what album you put out (or don’t).

Check out the full lists at Billboard.com, where you can also check out what some of your favorite (or most hated) artists chose as their top music picks of the Noughties. Because the best person to ask about the last ten years of music is an American Idol alum who just entered the cultural zeitgeist six months ago.