British artists dominate global music sales in 2015

MUSIC body, the BPI, celebrates the continuing global success of British artists, who in 2015 maintained their domination of the world stage.

According to the Global Recording Artist top ten chart compiled by international music body IFPI, which reflects an artist’s popularity across albums and singles for their full catalogue, half of the ten most popular recording artists in 2015 hailed from the UK, including Adele in top spot.

AdeleAdele’s album 25 has sold over 15 million copies around the world to date since its release in November 2015, including 2.65 million copies in the UK according to Official Charts Company data.

Second place in the Global Recording Artist top ten went to Ed Sheeran, whose studio album x has now sold more than ten million copies world-wide since its release in June 2014 – an achievement recognised at last year’s BRIT Awards 2015 when the Yorkshire-born singer songwriter collected two BRITs for British Male Solo Artist and MasterCard British Album of the Year.

The other British acts to feature in the IFPI chart are One Direction (no.5), who scored their fourth UK No.1 album with Made In The AM, Coldplay (no.6), who saw A Head Full Of Dreams add to their haul of over 80 million records sold worldwide since the band formed in 1996, and Sam Smith (no.8), who raised his global profile recording the title track to James Bond Spectre and has seen his 2014 debut In the Lonely Hour sell more than two million copies in both the UK and the US.

Second in terms of national groupings in the IFPI global top ten after the UK came Canadian artists, with Justin Bieber (no.4), Drake (no.9) and The Weeknd (no.10) flying the Maple Leaf, while two acts hail from the US – Taylor Swift (no.3) and Maroon 5 (no.7).

Welcoming the continuing success of British artists, Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI and the BRIT Awards, said: “It’s an extraordinary achievement for the UK to claim 50 per cent of the top music artists in the world.

“Our super-talented artists are supported by innovative labels that have seized the opportunity of digital to build fan bases right around the world, boosting exports and Britain’s profile overseas.

“It’s now time for the government to help capitalise on this success, so we can produce more great music here in the UK and further boost our burgeoning creative sector.”

Commenting on the IFPI Global Recording Artist Award, IFPI chief executive, Frances Moore, said: “I’m delighted to be able to honour Adele as the most popular global recording artist of 2015. Her album 25 has been the runaway global sensation of the year, breaking records across the world and reaching a vast audience of fans. All of the artists in our top ten chart have achieved incredible success – and Adele’s achievement is simply phenomenal.”

IFPI’s Global Recording Artist award and top ten chart is the first and only ranking to accurately capture the popularity of artists across streaming channels, alongside digital and physical album and singles sales on a global basis.

Recipients in 2013 and 2014, respectively, were One Direction and Taylor Swift.

The independently-verified Global Recording Artist chart includes sales of albums – across digital, CD and vinyl formats; singles, both downloaded and physical; on-demand audio streams and music videos across the calendar year.

The chart includes all the music of each artist featured, not just one track or album. It uses track and album equivalents to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams.

IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2015, top ten
(Source IFPI)

  1. Adele UK
  2. Ed Sheeran UK
  3. Taylor Swift USA
  4. Justin Bieber Canada
  5. One Direction UK
  6. Coldplay UK
  7. Maroon 5 USA
  8. Sam Smith UK
  9. Drake Canada
  10. The Weeknd Canada
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