Midway through the year it didn’t look as if any artists would get past this milestone, but thanks to the Christmas push, the British singer has become the only artist on both sides of the Atlantic to pass the million mark simultaneously
Sam Smith has triumphed on both sides of the Atlantic, scoring a million-selling album in both the UK and the US in 2014 – the only artist in the world to do so this year.
According to data provided by the Official Charts Company, Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour passed the 1m landmark in the UK at some point over the last 24 hours, a day after his album was confirmed a million-seller in the United States. Smith said he was “ecstatic” to hear the news. “Thank you so much to every single person who has purchased my album,” he told the OCC.
In he Lonely Hour – which had sold 1.007m copies at midnight on 17 December – became the second artist album to achieve the milestone in the UK this year, following Ed Sheeran’s X at the end of November. Aside from Smith’s debut, Taylor Swift’s 1989 and the Frozen soundtrack are the other two albums who have surpassed the million-mark.
The success of Ed Sheeran and Smith also makes 2014 the first year since 2011 when more than one album has passed 1m sales in the UK – a year which took in the height of Adele’s blockbuster releases 21 and 19, Michael Buble’s Christmas and Bruno Mars’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Midway through the year, the industry looked as if it was limping, with established acts such as Coldplay unable to shift their sales into the million mark. It is no surprise that the final quarter of the year, when almost 35% of all albums are sold in the Christmas rush, has allowed a small number of artists to prosper.
“It’s proving to be another amazing year for British artists, who are not only dominating the charts at home but continue to fly the flag for British music around the world,” the BPI’s Gennaro Castaldo said of Smith’s success.
“Like Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith is enjoying an absolutely stellar year, but to sell a million copies of his debut album in the UK and, remarkably, the US within the same 12 month-period that he collected his Brit award is a truly outstanding achievement.”
In December 2013, Smith collected his first Brit, taking home the critics choice award, this year handed to singer-songwriter James Bay. Smith’s debut was released in May and became the fastest-selling debut album of the year in the UK. It has spent just one week outside the Top 5 since its release.
This article was written by Guardian music, for theguardian.com on Thursday 18th December 2014 15.14 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010