Ed Sheeran is Billboard’s Artist of the Year, but where are the women?

Ed Sheeran may not be a Grammy nominee for Record, Song, or Album of the Year this year, but that’s okay. He’s neverthelless the number-one artist of the year, according to Billboard. “It’s been a pretty mad year, I have to admit. It’s gone a lot better than I expected,” said Sheeran in an interview with Billboard to discuss his high ranking (watch above). “There’s lots of things that haven’t gone my way, but lots of things that have … It’s been a year of when one door closes another one opens.”

Billboard’s artist rankings are based on combined performance on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the Billboard 200 albums chart, the Social 50 chart, and Boxscore touring revenue. This year seems to have had more ups than downs for Sheeran, who had the biggest hit of his career, “Shape of You,” which is also Billboard’s number-one song of the year. He recently topped the chart again by dueting with Beyonce on his song “Perfect.” The Grammy snubs probably stung a bit, but he’s nevertheless nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance (“Shape of You”) and Best Pop Album (“Divide”), and while he probably wouldn’t be voted “Game of Thrones” Guest Star of the Year, it’s not bad for a year’s work.

But Billboard’s list is noteworthy for its lack of female artists. This is only the third time women were shut out of the top 10 entirely — the highest-ranked woman is Ariana Grande at number-15. In fact, this hasn’t happened since 1984. This comes after two straight years of female domination with Taylor Swift taking the top spot for artists in 2015 and Adele in 2016. And there had been at least one woman in the top three every year since 2007. But 2017 wasn’t great for female artists, as evidenced by the fact that there are no women as lead artists in the top-10 for the year’s biggest albums or singles either. And that shortfall carried over to the Grammys, where only one woman is nominated for Album of the Year (Lorde for “Melodrama”) and none are nominated for Record of the Year.

What do you think of Ed Sheeran being named artist of the year by Billboard? And why were women so underrepresented on the charts this year? Find out who else made Billboard’s list here, and discuss this and more with your fellow music fans in our forums.

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