“Music is sublime”
Hot on the heels of David Bowie being celebrated as the most successful star in Record Store Day's 10-year history in the UK, the BPI has announced today that he has also beaten the likes of Adele and Drake to be named the UK's most popular artist of 2016.
Bowie clocked up 1.65m album equivalent sales, a measurement developed by UK music industry body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) that combines physical and digital sales of CDs and albums (along with streams), to give the overall sales popularity of an artist. This success was driven by almost 1.5m physical and digital albums sales, 510,000 tracks downloaded and 127m streamed.
The sales were led by purchases of ★, which also helped drive vinyl record sales to a 25-year high. The next most-consumed Bowie recordings were his compilations Best of Bowie, Nothing Has Changed and Legacy, ahead of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.
In a piece by Mark Sweney in today’s Guardian, Boyd Hilton, entertainment editor at Heat magazine said this of Bowie’s sales surge following his passing last year: “Bowie suddenly got loads more airplay and the ★ album, videos and artwork were so extraordinary anyway that they captured the public’s imagination even more than a regular new Bowie album might. There has also been an undoubted resurgence in pop and rock nostalgia, you can see it in things like the increase in vinyl sales, perhaps due to the homogeneity of so much of the mainstream music scene. This has meant a perfect storm of interest in the great man and his music.”
The BPI said: “Bowie was by far the most popular recording artist last year when sales and streams of all his iconic work are taken into account. Fans young and old paid fulsome tribute to David's legacy by reacquainting themselves with his classic songs and albums or by discovering them for the first time. ★ would have featured in the year’s best-seller lists in any event, but Bowie’s passing led to a surge in sales and streams that saw it become the year’s sixth-most popular recording of 2016 across all formats and the biggest-selling title on vinyl.”
Thanks to everybody who had a part in this success, particularly to you, the fans, who created these astonishing figures.
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