Big Thief debuts at No. 9 on Billboard's Emerging Artists chart (dated May 18), as the group's third album, U.F.O.F., opens atop Heatseekers Albums and Americana/Folk Album Sales, marking the act's first No. 1 ranks on any Billboard charts.
With 7,000 equivalent album units earned (5,000 in traditional album sales), according to Nielsen Music, U.F.O.F. also marks the group's first appearance on the Billboard 200, at No. 142.
Big Thief's sophomore set, 2017's Capacity, reached No. 8 on Americana/Folk Album Sales and No. 9 on Heatseekers Albums. Its debut set, 2016's Masterpiece, hit at No. 10 on Heatseekers Albums.
The group consists of Adrianne Lenker (whose debut solo set Abysskiss hit No. 10 on the Heatseekers list in October 2018), Buck Meek, Max Oleartchik and James Krivchenia.
The Emerging Artists chart ranks the most popular developing artists of the week, using the same formula as the all-encompassing Billboard Artist 100, which measures artist activity across multiple Billboard charts, including the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and the Social 50. (The Artist 100 lists the most popular acts, overall, each week.) However, the Emerging Artists chart excludes acts that have notched a top 25 entry on either the Hot 100 or Billboard 200, as well as artists that have achieved two or more top 10s on Billboard's "Hot" song genre charts and/or consumption-based "Top" album genre rankings.
City Girls log their sixth week at No. 1 on Emerging Artists, as their single “Act Up” rises 30-29, hitting a new peak, on the Billboard Hot 100. The rank of their second Hot 100 entry ties the peak of their first hit, "Twerk," featuring Cardi B, in February.
New Orleans-based funk/soul/spoken-word group Tank & the Bangas debut at No. 34 on Emerging Artists, as its sophomore set Green Balloon arrives at No. 3 on Heatseekers Albums (2,000 copies sold). The group, which won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest in 2017, previously charted with its EP Live Vibes, which reached No. 21 on Heatseekers Albums in May 2018.
Plus, Ari Lennox debuts at No. 38 on Emerging Artists, as the neo-soul singer-songwriter's debut LP Shea Butter Baby arrives at No. 9 on Top R&B Albums and No. 104 on the Billboard 200 (8,000 units). Lennox hit No. 20 on Top R&B Albums with her 2016 EP Pho.
Check out this week's full Emerging Artists chart here.