Billboard adds Americana and Folk music to charts

Billboard magazine has decided to create a new Americana and Folk Albums chart in a move that recognizes the rise of artists — such as Jason Isbell and the Lumineers —who have enjoyed commercial success.

Billboard announced the chart change on Thursday, effective June 4, in an email to record executives. The chart was previously called the Folk Albums chart, leaving some Americana artists without a go-to chart.

The move comes a few months after heated debate when the country-folk band Green River Ordinance was left off the Country Albums chart, but slotted on the Folk and Rock charts. And the new chart serves as another piece of recognition for the rise of Americana, the broad umbrella of a genre that covers American roots music from multiple sub-genres — country, rock, blues, folk and jazz, among others.

“This change recognizes the growth of Americana and the prominent rise of the term overall, both within the industry and in widespread music coverage,” said Gary Trust, co-director of charts for Billboard in email forwarded to The Tennessean.