2020 was a different kind of year thanks to the pandemic and that's reflected in some of the Billboard rock charts for the year that is concluding. Billboard, the chart magazine, has kept tally throughout the year in a number of categories and we're seeing an influx of older familiar artists returning to the spotlight pushing aside the few major new releases of the year.

In the top Rock Artists category, the Top 10 is an interesting mix of classic rock acts and mostly modern alternative artists. Panic! At the Disco, who've had a hold at alternative radio in recent years, top the list, followed by the breakthrough success of Machine Gun Kelly and the TikTok-infused revival of Fleetwood Mac.

Top Rock Artists

1. Panic! at the Disco
2. Machine Gun Kelly
3. Fleetwood Mac
4. The Beatles
5. Twenty One Pilots
6. Queen
7. AJR
8. Tame Impala
9. Elton John
10. Imagine Dragons

When it comes to Rock Airplay, Twenty One Pilots have pushed past last year's Grammy queen Billie Eilish. It's no surprise as Twenty One Pilots also claimed the top two spots on the Rock Airplay Songs chart with "Level of Concern" and "The Hype." In both categories, it's overwhelmingly filled with artists from the alt-rock genre.

Rock Airplay Artists

1. Twenty One Pilots
2. Billie Eilish
3. The Killers
4. Weezer
5. Matt Maeson
6. Green Day
7. Meg Myers
8. Absofacto
9. Cage the Elephant
10. Tame Impala

Rock Airplay Songs

1. Twenty One Pilots, "Level of Concern
2. Twenty One Pilots, "The Hype
3. Billie Eilish, "Everything I Wanted"
4. Meg Myers, "Running Up That Hill"
5. Absofacto, "Dissolve"
6. Matt Maeson, "Hallucinogenics"
7. Coldplay, "Orphans"
8. The Killers, "Caution"
9. Tame Impala, "Lost in Yesterday"
10. Cage the Elephant, "Black Madonna"

When it comes to albums sales for rock artists, the Top 10 (minus one) consists of classic hits collections or stand alone albums primarily featuring music recorded in the 20th century. Queen's Greatest Hits continues its reign atop the Rock Albums chart for the year, while Elton John's Diamonds and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours placed second and third. You have to drop down to Five Finger Death Punch's Decade of Destruction hits set at No. 19 before you find a current core hard rock act. Machine Gun Kelly's Tickets to My Downfall was the top selling new 2020 rock release at No. 22, while Ozzy Osbourne's Ordinary Man was the top fresh 2020 offering from metal at No. 37.

Top Rock Albums

1. Queen, Greatest Hits
2. Elton John, Diamonds
3. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chronicle
5. The Beatles, Abbey Road
6. Journey, Greatest Hits
7. The Beatles, 1
8. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Greatest Hits
9. AC/DC, Back in Black
10. Imagine Dragons, Evolve

Narrowing the field a bit on the Hard Rock Albums chart, Queen's Greatest Hits, AC/DC's Back in Black and Metallica's Black Album claim the top three spots while FFDP's Decade of Destruction places fourth and Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory gets a boost to No. 5 for its 20th anniversary. Ozzy Osbourne's Ordinary Man is the lone 2020-released album in the Top 10 at No. 7. If you're looking for other 2020 released albums, slide all the way down to No. 27 for Metallica's S&M2 and No. 28 for Pearl Jam's Gigaton, closely followed by Deftones' Ohms (No. 31) and Marilyn Manson's We Are Chaos (No. 35).

Hard Rock Albums

1. Queen, Greatest Hits
2. AC/DC, Back in Black
3. Metallica, Black Album
4. Five Finger Death Punch, A Decade of Destruction
5. Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory
6. Bon Jovi, Greatest Hits: The Ultimate Collection
7. Ozzy Osbourne, Ordinary Man
8. Foo Fighters, Greatest Hits
9. Guns N' Roses, Appetite for Destruction
10. Aerosmith, Greatest Hits

For the charting category best representing modern hard rock, the Mainstream Rock Songs chart for the year features a strong display from Five Finger Death Punch who claim the year's No. 1 and Np. 3 songs with "A Little Bit Off" and "Inside Out." Godsmack still held strong with "Unforgettable" at No. 2 and The Pretty Reckless returned solid with "Death by Rock and Roll" at No. 4.

Mainstream Rock Songs

1. Five Finger Death Punch, "A Little Bit Off"
2. Godsmack, "Unforgettable"
3. Five Finger Death Punch, "Inside Out"
4. The Pretty Reckless, "Death by Rock and Roll"
5. I Prevail, "Hurricane"
6. Seether, "Dangerous"
7. Shinedown, "Atlas Falls"
8. Ozzy Osbourne, "Under the Graveyard"
9. Bad Wolves, "Sober"
10. Falling in Reverse, "Popular Monster"

To see more of Billboard's year-end charts for 2020, head here.

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