Sheeran’s dominance in the world of pop continues as the singer-songwriter shifts more records than Sam Smith, Frozen, Coldplay and Paolo Nutini
His million-selling album X sits at the top of Apple’s end-of-year list, published on 8 December, and is followed by Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour, Frozen’s soundtrack, Coldplay’s Ghost Stories and Paolo Nutini’s Caustic Love. The top 10 also features two volumes of Now That’s What I Call Music, George Ezra’s debut and two albums from 2013 – Arctic Monkeys’ AM and London Grammar’s If You Wait.
Sheeran – who said he was “absolutely buzzing” to hear of his iTunes success – has already been named the most-streamed artist globally on Spotify in 2014, and currently holds the No 1 single in the UK with Thinking Out Loud. News of his recent triumphs round off a significant year for the singer, who has announced three nights at Wembley Stadium for 2015, and has been nominated for two Grammys. His rivals in the album of the year category are Beyoncé’s self-titled album, Pharrell Williams’s Girl, Beck’s Morning Phase and Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour, and he is also tipped in the best pop vocal album category.
The list of iTunes’ bestselling songs was topped by Pharrell’s phenomenon Happy, while classical-pop crossover act Clean Bandit follow behind with their track Rather Be – a song also crowned the year’s most-streamed single on Spotify.
The distinction between the two music services is interesting if you take into account streaming’s ever-increasing worth in the music industry. While iTunes’ charts measure what an audience bought, Spotify tracks what an audience actually listened to; however, there is little divergence if you compare iTunes’ list to recent data provided by the streaming service. The only artists not duplicated are Iggy Azalea and Pharrell Williams; both are included in Spotify’s top five most-streamed albums in the UK but neither make the iTunes album list.
iTunes bestselling songs (UK)
1. Happy – Pharrell Williams
2. Rather Be (feat Jess Glynne) – Clean Bandit
3. All of Me – John Legend
4. Waves – Mr Probz
5. Ghost – Ella Henderson
6. Timber (feat Ke$ha) – Pitbull
7. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
8. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
9. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
10. Let It Go – Idina Menzel
iTunes bestselling albums (UK)
1. X – Ed Sheeran
2. In the Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
3. Frozen (original motion picture soundtrack) – Various artists
4. Ghost Stories – Coldplay
5. Caustic Love – Paolo Nutini
6. Now That’s What I Call Music! 88 – Various artists
7. Now That’s What I Call Music! 87 – Various artists
8. Wanted on Voyage – George Ezra
9. If You Wait – London Grammar
10. AM – Arctic Monkeys
This article was written by Guardian music, for theguardian.com on Monday 8th December 2014 13.44 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010