David Bowie is Most Popular UK Artist of 2016

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The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) announced today (May 18) that David Bowie has been named the U.K.’s most popular artist of 2016.

Bowie albums sold 1.65 million in equivalent sales, a measurement developed by the U.K. music industry organization, that combines physical and digital sales of CDs, albums and streams, to give the overall sales popularity of an artist. Bowie’s success was driven by almost 1.5 million physical and digital albums sales, 510,000 tracks downloaded and 127 million streamed.

Adele was a distant second with 1.1 million sales. The other acts in an unlikely Top 5 were Drake, Little Mix and Coldplay.

The sales were led by purchases of 2016’s Blackstar ★, which also helped drive vinyl record sales to a 25-year high. The next “most-consumed” Bowie recordings were the compilations Best of Bowie, Nothing Has Changed and 2016’s Legacy, ahead of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The BPI announcement said: “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.”

The trend appears to be continuing this year. The April 2017 vinyl release of Bowie’s Cracked Actor, a live recording from 1974, helped the artist become the most successful artist in Record Store Day’s 10-year history in the U.K., according to the Official Charts Company, which monitors such things. The success of that title’s limited edition vinyl release led to the recent announcement of a CD release on June 16.

Related: Bowie’s Cracked Actor coming to CD


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  1. Mary
    #1 Mary 20 May, 2017, 11:20

    Love Cracked Actor!

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