Paul McCartney Named U.K.’s Top Album Artist

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Paul McCartney accepts the Official Chart Record Breaker, recognizing his achievement as the UK’s most successful albums act of all time

Paul McCartney accepts the Official Chart Record Breaker, recognizing his achievement as the UK’s most successful albums act of all time

It’s official! Paul McCartney is the most successful album artist of all time in the U.K. Macca’s landmark achievement was announced exactly 60 years to the day after Britain’s Official Charts Company published its first LP popularity chart. The figures are staggering: Since his emergence in the early 1960s, McCartney has scored no fewer than 22 #1 albums—first, of course, as a member of The Beatles (15 chart-toppers), plus two with Wings, four as a solo artist and one with his late first wife, Linda McCartney.

As the reigning king of the U.K. album charts, McCartney automatically becomes the recipient of the new Official Chart Record Breaker Award, which, says his website, is presented to a selected elite of artists achieving the greatest feats on the Official Chart.

“The Official Albums Chart,” says an announcement on Paul, “represents the most trusted and longest established measure of album popularity in Britain.”

McCartney’s lengthy tenure as a best-seller in the U.K. goes back some 53 years to May 1963, when the Beatles’ debut album, Please Please Me, began its stretch as the longest-running #1 debut album in chart history (30 weeks). In all, McCartney’s music has spent 191 weeks on the top of the Official Albums Chart, handing him another record: most weeks spent at #1.

In addition, says the announcement, Paul was involved in the biggest-selling studio album of all time in the U.K., the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a recording which has to date sold 5.1 million copies in Britain alone.

Related: See the U.K.’s all-time top 60 albums

Upon receiving the news of his latest success, McCartney told “Okay, you know how it really feels? It feels unbelievable, because when you write your songs you don’t count how well they’re doing. I remember when ‘Please, Please Me’ went to #1, that was our first #1 record, and it’s a beautiful feeling to suddenly get this [award]. I mean it’s amazing. So thank you to the people for giving it to me, I love you. And thank you to everyone who made it possible by buying the records, we love you too!”

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McCartney has placed albums on the U.K. chart every decade, selling an estimated 700 million albums globally. He is currently performing sold-out stadium concerts on his “One on One” tour, at which his set list includes the Beatles’ first-ever charting single, “Love Me Do,” a song McCartney had never before performed on his solo tours.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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