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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



Drake named IFPI’s Global Recording Artist of the Year as fellow Canadians Justin Bieber and The Weeknd reach the Top 10

Today, the IFPI announced that Toronto hip hop artist Drake is the recipient of the IFPI 2016 Global Artist of the Year Award, which recognizes an artist’s worldwide success across physical and digital formats, including downloads and steams. Drake is the first Canadian to receive the award, and the fourth recipient since its launch in 2013.

Joining Drake in the Top 10 chart are fellow Ontarians Justin Bieber and The Weeknd, who reached #5 and #10, respectively. All three artists also appeared in the 2015 Global Top 10 chart.

“I’m delighted to be able to honour Drake as the IFPI Global Recording Artist 2016,” says IFPI chief executive Frances Moore in a release. “Drake’s phenomenal success reflects how deeply his unique sound appeals to an enormous global audience. The Global Top 10 list features a number of amazing artists, and the variety and vibrancy of their art speaks volumes about the exciting state of music today.”

Drake’s 2016 Double Platinum album Views became the first album to reach one billion streams on Apple Music, while the album’s single and summer smash “One Dance” became the first song to be played one billion times on Spotify. In 2015, Drake appeared at number nine on the list.

Justin Bieber, whose 2015 album Purpose contained multi-Platinum singles like “Sorry,” “Love Yourself,” and “What Do You Mean?” lands in the fifth position, allowing for two Canadian artists to appear in the top five. This is the second consecutive year the Stratford, Ontario native has appeared on the list, after reaching the number four spot in 2015.

Multi-Platinum R&B sensation and Scarborough, Ontario native The Weeknd, who released his Platinum-certified album Starboy in late 2016, was announced as the number ten artist, matching his 2015 position on the chart. While his album JUNO Award winning album Beauty Behind The Madness was released in 2015, The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, continued to see success through the start of 2016 with the album’s singles “Can’t Feel My Face,” “In The Night,” and “The Hills.”

One Direction were the first group to be named Top Artist by IFPI when the list began in 2013, which also included Canadian Michael Bublé in the ninth spot. Taylor Swift earned the award in 2014, and in 2015, IFPI named Adele as the top global recording artist, who appears at number four in 2016.

Click here more for information on IFPI’s results, and view the full list below.

Top 10 Global Recording Artists of 2016

  1. Drake
  2. David Bowie
  3. Coldplay
  4. Adele
  5. Justin Bieber
  6. Twenty One Pilots
  7. Beyoncé
  8. Rihanna
  9. Prince
  10. The Weeknd

iHeartRadio officially launches in Canada’s growing streaming market


In January 2016, Bell Media announced an exclusive partnership to bring the American media company brand iHeartRadio, North America’s fastest growing digital audio service with over 90 million registered users, to Canada’s evolving streaming market.

On Monday, iHeartRadio Canada officially went live, giving Canadians a free new service to access over 100 licensed Bell Media English and French music, sports, and talk radio stations across 54 markets. The service also offers more than 100 additional digital-only music stations, curated for dozens of genres and designed to suit every taste.

“iHeartRadio Canada harnesses the strength of Bell Media’s radio stations in addition to more than 100 exclusive, curated digital music stations, placing them all conveniently at the fingertips of every Canadian,” said Randy Lennox, President of Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media, who spearheaded the deal upon stepping into the role in 2015. “iHeartRadio is an enormously successful brand that will represent Bell Media’s radio strategy in Canada, in many incarnations, including must-see live concerts, events, and more.”

In conjunction with Monday’s launch, iHeartRadio revealed plans for Canada’s first Jingle Ball, happening November 25 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. The Canadian version of Jingle Ball, also taking place in a dozen cities across the US, will feature homegrown superstars The Weeknd, Alessia Cara, Hedley, Serena Ryder, Belly, and Kardinal Offishall, who hosts radio show The Kardi Party for Bell Media-owned Virign Radio and syndicated nationwide via iHeartRadio. American acts Kent Jones and multi-Plaitnum chart-toppers The Chainsmokers will also join the Toronto lineup.

Over the weekend, CTV Two will broadcast the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival from Las Vegas, a two-night event jam-packed with legendary performers including U2, Sia, Sting, Britney Spears, and Usher; plus all-star collaborations, including Billy Idol and Miley Cyrus; Ariana Grande and Zedd; and Backstreet Boys and Florida Georgia Line. Throughout the summer, Canadian fans were given a sneak peek at the company’s premiere programming with branded events like iHeartRadio Fest (formerly CHUM FM FanFest) at Toronto’s Canadian Music Week, and the nationwide broadcast of the 2016 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards.

iHeartRadio Canada is now available for free via the web, and iOS and Android devices.  While details have not been officially announced, iHeartRadio is also expected to launch their paid on-demand streaming tiers in 2017.


27th annual SOCAN Awards to be presented June 20

On Monday, June 20, Canadian songwriters, performers, and industry executives will be honoured at the 27th annual SOCAN Awards. This year’s event will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto, ON, and will be hosted by Dave Bidini of Rheostatics.

In celebration of Canada’s favourite pastime, composer Dolores Claman will be presented with the Cultural Impact Award for “The Hockey Theme,” which has been heard nationwide for nearly 50 years during Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts. The first few notes of “The Hockey Theme” will also be tuned into “The SOCAN” trophies, the world’s first and only music industry trophy that’s also a playable musical instrument.

2016 SOCAN Awards honourees will also include 2015 hit-makers The Weeknd (International Achievement Award), Alessia Cara (Breakout Award), Belly (Songwriter Of The Year), and Johnny Reid (National Achievement Award), as well as industry veteran Gary Slaight (Special Achievement Award).

Music Canada is proud to be a bronze sponsor for the 2016 SOCAN Awards, and wish to congratulate all of this year’s recipients.

View the full press release for more information on this year’s awards.


Banner year for Canadian music celebrated at 2016 JUNO Awards in Calgary

The 45th annual JUNO Awards took place Sunday night in Calgary, AB, with thousands of music fans selling out The Scotiabank Saddledome to celebrate a spectacular year in Canadian music, and kick-off the peak season of the city’s Year Of Music. With performances by Bryan Adams, Shawn Mendes, Dean Brody and more, CTV’s 2016 JUNO Awards broadcast attracted an average of 1.4 million viewers, an increase of 2% from the 2015 show.

Toronto’s The Weeknd took home the most JUNO statuettes, with the R&B singer/songwriter collecting three awards during Saturday’s Gala Dinner, and two awards during Sunday’s broadcast including Album Of The Year (sponsored by Music Canada) for the Double Platinum album Beauty Behind The Madness. Brampton, ON newcomer Alessia Cara picked up her first JUNO for Breakthrough Artist of the Year following the success of her Platinum debut single “Here”, which she also performed during the broadcast.

On Sunday night, legendary singer/songwriter Burton Cummings was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist. 2016 JUNOS host Jann Arden, and nominees Shawn Hook and The Tenors, closed out the evening with a tribute performance to Cummings, which was followed by the celebrated artist taking to the stage with his band The Carpet Frogs.

During Saturday night’s Gala Dinner, Régine Chassagne of Montreal’s Arcade Fire accepted the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award for the band’s humanitarian efforts in Haiti. In 2006, Arcade Fire began donating a dollar of each concert ticket sold to global health organization Partners in Health and has since raised over $4 million, trained volunteers, and engaged fans in supporting Haiti.

Former Windsor CKLW music director Rosalie Trombley was also honoured at Saturday’s Gala, receiving the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award which recognizes individuals who have made an impact on the Canadian music industry. Music legends Bob Seger, Gordon Lightfoot, Randy Bachman and Bob Ezrin, as well as Trombley’s children, provided touching remarks in a video tribute to the “the girl with the golden ear,” hosted by Sook-Yin Lee.

In the weekend leading up to Sunday’s awards broadcast, more than 100 acts including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jim Cuddy, Lee Harvey Osmond, Whitehorse, Autumn Hill, Cancer Bats, and Rich Aucoin performed across 15 venues for the multi-day JUNOfest. By Friday night, wristbands to the festival had officially sold out, and venues across the city were buzzing with excitement for the jam-packed JUNO Week festival.

“I don’t think I’ve seen, honestly, the response to our tickets as strong in years,” said Allan Reid, CEO and President of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. “JUNOFest (was) sold out, all of the clubs were absolutely packed (Friday) night, JUNO Fan Fare was packed, Junior JUNOS was packed — sold out. So we’re thrilled to be back here. It’s been an incredible reception. And obviously the weather doesn’t hurt either. Everybody has all smiles on their faces right now.”

According to Mayor Naheed Nenshi, JUNO Week is expected to make an economic impact between 10 and 15 million dollars for the city of Calgary. “One of the reasons that we’re doing the Year of Music this year is to have kind of a different view of the city of Calgary as we’re facing this economic downturn, so that people across Canada are thinking of us as a place of creativity and innovation,” Nenshi told reporters backstage.

From 2007 to 2015 the JUNO Awards have created a total economic impact of almost $99 million, including $11 million for the 2012 JUNO Awards in Ottawa, $14 million for the 2011 JUNO Awards in Toronto, and $10 million for the 2015 JUNO Awards in Hamilton. During the broadcast, Mayor Nenshi passed a JUNO award to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, as the city will once again host the JUNOS in 2017 for its year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Some JUNO attendees were also given a sneak peak tour of the National Music Centre, which is expected to open to the public this summer and provide an economic and cultural boost to the city.

“There’s no doubt that the launch of the National Music Centre is first and foremost one of the most intriguing points of hosting the Junos this year,” Marco De Iaco, chair of the Juno Awards host committee OutLoudYYC, told the Calgary Herald leading up to JUNO Week. “It was really the reason why we wanted to bring it back in this year, to get the National Music Centre out on the right foot.”

The National Music Centre was also a part of the University of Calgary’s announcement of Universal Music Canada’s donation of EMI Music Canada’s complete archives to the institution’s Library & Cultural Resources. The National Music Centre’s partnership with the university will allow for future public exhibitions and educational programming surrounding the archives.

The full list of 2016 JUNO Award winners can be found here.


Music Canada Proud to Support 45th Annual JUNO Awards


Music Canada is proud to return as the sponsor of the Album of the Year Award at the 45th Annual JUNO Awards.

“Music Canada is proud to work alongside record labels who invest in great Canadian talent by helping them create an album, develop as artists, and build a passionate fan base. This kind of support gives Canadian artists what it takes to not only break into the international market – but as we saw in 2015 – rule it,” says Graham Henderson, President of Music Canada.

“A strong music industry positions us well on the global stage, builds our brand, and draws the world to our borders through music tourism. A vibrant music sector contributes economically, socially and culturally to local communities and the country at large. There is an incredible depth and diversity for music in Canada – it’s one of our greatest exports.”

This year’s nominees for Album of the Year are:

  • Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  • Jean Leloup – A Paradis City
  • Justin Bieber – Purpose
  • Shawn Mendes – Handwritten
  • The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness

The Album of the Year Award will be presented at The 2016 JUNO Awards Broadcast on CTV at The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Sunday, April 3.



Three Canadian artists included in IFPI’s Top 10 Global Recording Artists 2015 list


International music trade body IFPI has announced their list of 2015’s top global recording artists, and Canadian artists Justin Bieber, Drake, and The Weeknd make up three of the top 10 positions. The multi-Platinum Canadian artists dominated Billboard’s US Hot 100, and charts worldwide, in 2015 with hits like “What Do You Mean?”, “Hotline Bling”, and “I Can’t Feel My Face”. In Canada, Drake’s album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness were certified Platinum, while Justin Bieber’s Purpose was certified Triple Platinum.

UK singer/songwriter Adele was announced as the recipient of 2015’s Global Recording Artist of the Year award, following the success of her chart-topping third album 25. The album’s lead single, “Hello”, was number 1 in more than 30 countries worldwide and has been certified 6X Platinum in Canada since its release. 25 was officially certified Diamond in Canada, selling over 800,000 copies since its November 2015 release.

Adele is the third recipient of the award, which reflects an artist’s worldwide popularity across physical formats, downloads and on-demand streams. Last year’s winner Taylor Swift lands at #3 in 2015, while 2013 winners One Direction move to #5.

The full top 10 list can be viewed below and visit IFPI’s release for more information about the award.


1 Adele
2 Ed Sheeran
3 Taylor Swift
4 Justin Bieber
5 One Direction
6 Coldplay
7 Maroon 5
8 Sam Smith
9 Drake
10 The Weeknd

Canadian artists top Spotify 2015 Year in Music lists


On Monday, streaming service Spotify revealed their 2015 Year in Music top lists, which find Canadian artists Drake, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara and Francesco Yates as some of 2015’s most listened to artists in the world.

Proud Toronto-native Drake was announced as the most streamed artist of 2015 with over 1.8 billion streams this year and 46 million listeners. He takes the title from 2014’s most streamed artist Ed Sheeran, who in 2015 was announced as the most streamed artist of all time.

Drake’s 2015 mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was the second most-streamed album globally behind Canadian The Weeknd‘s Beauty Behind The Madness. In the US, the order is flipped, with Drake’s album being the most streamed this year. Based on sales numbers, both albums have been certified Platinum in Canada.

On November 13, Justin Bieber released his highly-anticipated album Purpose, which helped the artist set the record for most streams in a single day of all time with 36 million streams.

The #1 most viral track globally belongs to German DJ Robin Schulz for his track “Sugar” which features Canadian labelmate Francesco Yates. Canadians claimed 3 more spots in the top 5 of this list, with Drake’s “Hotline Bling” at #2, The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” at #4 and Alessia Cara’s “Here” at #5.

The full Year in Music top lists can be viewed on Spotify’s blog.


Canadians heat up Top 10 of Billboard’s U.S. Hot 100


Billboard’s U.S. Hot 100 chart was dominated by Canadian artists this week (November 14, 2015), with 6 of the top 10 spots being claimed by some of Canada’s biggest names in 2015.

Current Billboard Magazine cover star Justin Bieber, whose Double Platinum track “What Do You Mean” landed at #5, debuted at #2 this week behind Adele’s “Hello” with “Sorry”.

Toronto-based R&B superstar The Weeknd also has two songs in the Top 10 with “The Hills” at #4 and his summer smash “Can’t Feel My Face” at #10.

Drake‘s “Hotline Bling” came in at #3, while Shawn Mendes‘ “Stitches” is at #6 above tourmate Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”.

All four of these Universal Music Canada labelmates made headlines last week when they occupied the top 4 spots on the Hot 100.

The Billboard Hot 100 is ranked by radio airplay audience impressions as measured by Nielsen Music, sales data as compiled by Nielsen Music and streaming activity data provided by online music sources.

With Alessia Cara‘s “Here” rising to #15 this week, it’s safe to say we are witnessing one of the most exciting times in Canadian pop music history.


New Canadian Certifications: Week of March 23, 2015

Below you will find Music Canada’s Gold/Platinum certifications for the week of March 23, 2015.

This week, hip hop MC and producer J.Cole earned his first Gold album certification in Canada for his album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. American rock outfit Fall Out Boy also earned a Gold album certification for their latest American Beauty/American Psycho. Meghan Trainor‘s 2014 breakout hit “All About That Bass” earned a 6X Platinum certification, while her second single “Lips Are Movin” went Double Platinum.

For the latest certification news, make sure to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

Date Certification Artist / Album Label
Gold Digital Download Sheppard
Platinum Digital Download The Weeknd
Earned It
Republic Records / Universal Music Canada
Gold Digital Download The Weeknd
Earned It
Republic Records / Universal Music Canada
Gold Album(s) Yoan
Les Productions J
Gold Album(s) Fall Out Boy
American Beauty / American Psycho
Island Records
Platinum Album(s) The Black Keys
Turn Blue
Six Times Platinum Digital Download Meghan Trainor
All About That Bass
Epic Records
Double Platinum Digital Download Meghan Trainor
Lips Are Movin
Epic Records
Gold Album(s) J. Cole
2014 Forest Hills Drive
Columbia Records

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