Record industry panic and propaganda regarding piracy fails to stop shoppers...

Record sales rose to a record high last year, despite record industry panic and propaganda regarding piracy.

In new figures released by the Official UK Chart Company to industry magazine Music Week, sales rose by 7.6%, chalking up almost 121 million artist album sales (excluding compilations).

The rise is being attributed to cuts in CD pricing in supermarkets and online.

The biggest-selling album of 2003 was Dido’s ‘Life For Rent’, which sold 2.1 million. It was followed by Justin Timberlake with ‘Justified’ and Christina Aguilera with ‘Stripped’.

However, there was no good news in the singles market, which slumped by 30%. The biggest selling single of the year, ‘Where Is The Love?’ from the [a][/a], shifted 625,000 copies.

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