Adele leads record year for British acts in US chart

  • 8 February 2013
  • From the section Music
Ellie Goulding, One Direction's Harry Styles and Marcus Mumford
Ellie Goulding, One Direction's Harry Styles and Marcus Mumford

Adele, One Direction and Mumford & Sons helped British music secure its largest share of the US albums market for a decade in 2012.

Almost 14% of albums sold in America last year were by UK acts, according to the UK recorded music industry.

Four of the five best selling albums of 2012 were by Brits, led by Adele's 21 which sold 4.4 million copies.

It comes ahead of the Grammys on 13 February, where artists like Mumford & Sons and Ed Sheeran are nominated.

British artists

British artists secured their largest share of the US albums market since The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) started logging US sales in 2003.

For three years in a row the UK has increased its share in the US albums market.

Adele completed the year as the best selling album. She's the first artist ever to have an album top that list in consecutive years with the same release.

The album, 21, has now sold more than 10 million copies in the US.

Both of One Direction's albums finished the year in the top five best selling list, along with Mumford & Sons' second release Babel.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, 16 British singles were downloaded more than one million times in the States.

Nine UK singles achieved top 10 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart - the best UK representation for 21 years.

David Bakula, from Nielsen ScoundScan, said: "It's an amazing statistic. You don't get to a number like 14% by just having an Adele. It takes broader appeal and much more depth. It takes artists that are successful in every aspect of music to get up to that level of sales."

'New invasion'

"It's officially a new British Invasion," said Geoff Taylor, the chief executive of the BPI, the body which represents UK record labels.

"British labels are discovering unique talent and using social media to help build fan-bases right around the world, in particular in the US, where fans have such an affinity for British music."

Beyond Adele, Mumford & Sons and One Direction, 2012 was a breakthrough year for many other UK talents including Florence & The Machine, Calvin Harris, The Wanted, Cher Lloyd, Alex Clare, Jessie J and Tinie Tempah.

Some of the most successful artists have been telling Newsbeat about why they think there is such a huge amount of talent there right now.

Ed Sheeran will support Taylor Swift on a huge arena tour beginning in March - he'll also perform at the Grammys on Sunday 10 February.

His album + charted at number five on the Billboard chart - the highest charting solo UK made debut since Thom Yorke's The Eraser in 2006.

He said: "Americans watch the UK a lot more than the UK give them credit for. They really like UK music."

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