Adele becomes fourth British artist in five years to top global sales charts

'21' singer follows Coldplay, Amy Winehouse and Susan Boyle in achieving globe-straddling achievement

UK artists took almost 13 per cent of all global sales of recorded music in 2011, according to figures released today from the British Phonographic Industry.

British acts claimed 12.6 per cent of global music sales in 2011, up from 11.8 per cent in 2010, accounting for one in eight of all artist albums sold.

Sales were boosted by Adele, who became the fourth British artist in five years to achieve the best-selling album in the world – following Amy Winehouse, Coldplay and Susan Boyle in previous years.


The singer’s second album ’21’ has sold 18 million copies, accounting for 1.6 per cent of all albums sold worldwide. Her debut album ’19’ became the sixth biggest seller in the world last year, three years after its original release.

The figures were calculated following an analysis of album sales in the top seven markets of the world. British artists got a record share of album sales in the USA – with British artists including Coldplay, Mumford & Sons and Florence & The Machine accounting for one in eight albums sold.

In the the USA, British artists – including Tinie Tempah, Florence + the Machine, Hugh Laurie and Mumford & Sons – accounted for a record share of albums sales this century with one in eight albums sold (11.7%) produced by a UK act.

Back home in the UK, British acts gained their biggest share of the UK market since 1997 taking – with 52.7 per cent of artist album sales.
The best selling albums by British artists worldwide reported in Music Week are as follows:

1. Adele – ’21’
2. Coldplay – ‘Mylo Xyloto’
3. Adele – ’19’
4. Amy Winehouse – ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’
5. Mumford & Sons – ‘Sigh No More’
6. Susan Boyle – ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’
7. Jessie J – ‘Who You Are’
8. Amy Winehouse – ‘Back To Black’
9. Florence & the Machine – ‘Ceremonials’
10. Florence & the Machine – ‘Lungs’


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