UK artists dominate world music top ten

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Half of the top 10 most popular recording artists in the world during 2015 hailed from the UK, with Adele topping the list, according to the Global Recording Artist chart compiled by international music body IFPI.

The figures, which reflects an artist’s popularity across albums and singles for their full catalogue, underlined the continuing international success of UK artists operating in a variety of musical genres. Download an infographic on this here.

Adele’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 10 went to Ed Sheeran, whose studio album x has now sold more than 10 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 the James Bond film, '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 10 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).

Global top 10 music

Welcoming the continuing success of British artists, Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI & 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 fanbases 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 10 chart have achieved incredible success – and Adele’s achievement is simply phenomenal.”