British artists selling more albums in North America than ever before

Adele, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith knocked it out of the park in the US in 2015

One out of every six albums bought in the USA is by a British act, according to the latest figures from the BPI.

Led by the remarkable performance of Adele’s 2015 album ’25’, which shifted more than 7.4 units in just six weeks, British artists are now more popular than they’ve ever been on the other side of the Atlantic.

Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran’s ‘X’ and Sam Smith’s’ In The Lonely Hour’ were the fourth and sixth best-selling albums in the annual Billboard charts. Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Sons, and Muse also made massive contributions to a bumper year for British music.


Geoff Taylor, the boss of the BPI – which regulates the music industry in the UK – said: “The drumbeat of British music success in North America just keeps getting louder. British acts such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Mark Ronson have become part of the music mainstream in both the US and Canada – as popular as any home-grown talent, and their sustained success has opened the door to a new generation of UK artists coming through.”

In Canada, Brits’ success rates were even higher; 20 per cent of albums sold in the country were made by UK acts – that’s one album in every five sold.

And Mark Ronson’s ubiquitous single ‘Uptown Funk’ was the most downloaded track of 2015 in the US, despite being released in 2014, with over 5.5m sales, which pushed the British share of the North American singles market to 12.9 per cent.

John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, said: “Britain is a hive of creative talent so it’s no surprise that our UK artists are continuing to make a huge impact on the North American music market. Not only are the likes of Adele and Sam Smith inspiring whole new generations with their success overseas, but they’re flying the flag for Britain by showcasing our creativity and contributing more than £2bn to our economy through exports.”