UK’s 10 biggest albums of the year all by British artists for the first time

Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith led the way as 2014's only million sellers

The 10 best-selling albums released in the UK last year were all by British artists, the first time UK acts have comprised the entire top 10 since records began.

Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith fared particularly well during 2014, with Sheeran’s second album ‘x’ selling 1.7 million copies, the highest yearly total since Adele‘s ’21’ in 2011. Smith’s debut ‘In The Lonely Hour’ sold more than a million copies too. They were the only artists to sell more than a million albums in the UK last year.

Sheeran’s ‘x’ was also the most-popular digital album of the year, with more than 471,000 copies of the album downloaded, and Sheeran also earning the title of most-streamed artist of the year with Spotify alone confirming more than a billion streams of the Suffolk songwriter’s songs on their service.

George Ezra also had a strong year, with his debut ‘Wanted On Voyage’, released in June, going on to become the third best-selling album of the year, closely followed by Paolo Nutini‘s ‘Caustic Love’ and Coldplay‘s ‘Ghost Stories’.

These figures, along with statistics showing audio streaming in the UK doubled during 2014 to just under 15 billion streams, helped the UK music industry enjoy another year that generated more than £1 billion, roughly in line with 2013’s figure. The figures were provided by the British Phonographic Industry, the trade association of the British recorded music industry and body behind the BRIT Awards. Their chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “The remarkable success of British artists in 2014 is exciting news for the future. Our record labels are backing homegrown talent like Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and George Ezra, who in turn are catching fire around the world.”

Meanwhile, Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ was the biggest-selling single of 2014, achieving four times platinum sales. The biggest-selling single by a British artist – and second-biggest-seller of the year – was ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne. ‘Now That’s What I Call Music 89’ was the biggest-selling compilation of the year, selling 954,417 copies in the five weeks since it was released, making it the fastest-selling album of the year, too.

The top 10 best-selling album in the UK during 2014 were:
1. Ed Sheeran – ‘x’
2. Sam Smith – ‘In The Lonely Hour’
3. George Ezra – ‘Wanted On Voyage’
4. Paolo Nutini – ‘Caustic Love’
5. Coldplay – ‘Ghost Stories’
6. Paloma Faith – ‘A Perfect Contradiction’
7. One Direction – ‘Four’
8. Olly Murs – ‘Never Been Better’
9. Pink Floyd – ‘The Endless River’
10. Take That – ‘III’

The top 10 best-selling singles in the UK during 2014 were:
1. Pharrell – ‘Happy’
2. Clean Bandit feat Jess Glynne – ‘Rather Be’
3. John Legend – ‘All Of Me’
4. Mr Probz – ‘Waves’
5. Ed Sheeran – ‘Thinking Out Loud’
6. Ella Henderson – ‘Ghost’
7. Sam Smith – ‘Stay With Me’
8. Meghan Trainor – ‘All About That Bass’
9. Pitbull feat Kesha – ‘Timber’
10. George Ezra – ‘Budapest’