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Ed Sheeran named 2017’s best-selling global recording artist by IFPI, as Canadians Drake and The Weeknd return to Top 10

IFPI Global Award – Ed Sheeran
Photo Credit: John Marshall – JM Enternational

The IFPI revealed their Top 10 Global Recording Artist Chart today, naming Ed Sheeran as the world’s best-selling artist of 2017. Sheeran is the fifth recipient of the IFPI Global Recording Artist Award, which recognizes an artist’s international success across physical and digital formats.

Sheeran earned the top spot due to his worldwide success of his album ÷ (Divide) and its multiple hit singles including Shape of You, Castle On The Hill, and Galway Girl. The best-selling album topped the charts in 31 countries and was certified multi-Platinum in 34 markets, including Canada, where it was certified Six Times Platinum. Sheeran also had the world’s best-selling single, as Shape of You topped the charts in 25 countries, and was certified multi-Platinum in 24 markets, including Canada, where it reached Diamond status. That marks the first time that the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year has had both the best-selling album and single of the year.

“Being crowned the biggest star in the world, with the biggest song and biggest album, is the result of years of ambition, creativity, and hard work on a global scale,” said Max Lousada, CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group & Chairman and CEO of Warner Music UK. “Ed is truly an incredible songwriter, vocalist and performer, whose ability to tell stories and make people feel is what stands him out from the crowd. He’s always had a totally authentic connection with his fans, something he places over everything else. Congrats also to Stuart Camp, the Atlantic teams in the UK and US, and everyone at Warner who contributed to Ed’s amazing success story.”

Ed Sheeran presented with multiple award plaques for the album and its singles by Warner Music Canada.

“It’s wonderful to be able to announce Ed Sheeran as the IFPI Global Recording Artist 2017,” said IFPI chief executive, Frances Moore. “The success Ed has achieved is astonishing and testament to his ability to write and perform songs that connect with a truly global fanbase.”

Drake, who received the Global Artist Award in 2016, placed second on the chart this year. His mix tape More Life broke streaming records, including most first-day streams for an album on Spotify, and most streams in a 24 hour period on Apple Music. Fellow Canadian The Weeknd placed 7th on the chart this year, climbing up from the 10th position on the chart in 2016. Both Drake and The Weeknd have now placed in the Top 10 on this chart for three consecutive years.

“This year’s Global Top 10 really is a ‘who’s who’ of popular music,” continued Moore. “Each artist has a unique impact on the music industry through the talent and energy they are channelling through their work. I congratulate them all for such a successful year.”

The full Top 10 list, which was counted down by the IFPI on Twitter, is now available below.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2017

1 Ed Sheeran
2 Drake
3 Taylor Swift
4 Kendrick Lamar
5 Eminem
6 Bruno Mars
7 The Weeknd
8 Imagine Dragons
9 Linkin Park
10 The Chainsmokers

Previous Winners

2016 Drake
2015 Adele
2014 Taylor Swift
2013 One Direction


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