From the Beatles to Bowie to Madonna, metamorphosis has been an assumed component of pop stardom for decades, and the ability to transcend easy categorization has often been key to such artists’ success. So at a time when the speed of life is accelerating at an alarming rate, in a society where breaking down binaries … More »
If you’ve been following the recent feud between UK grime stars Stormzy and Wiley, you know that one of Wiley’s big points of contention with Stormzy is his willingness to make pop music and collaborate with people like Ed Sheeran. “You never cared about grime, you just used it/ Worse than Ed with … More »
More than 110 billion tracks were streamed in the United Kingdom in 2019, marking the region’s highest consumption of recorded music yet. According to figures released by trade body BPI, streaming hit a record high with total music streams in the year charting 114 billion and the equivalent of 154 million albums either streamed, purchased, or downloaded. The total streams for the year are up 3,000 percent from 2012. This is the fifth consecutive year that recorded music consumption has grown in the UK.
Best-selling artist of the year Lewis Capaldi topped the charts as the best-selling artist of the year—leading the most popular releases and top-selling albums. His breakthrough single, “Someone You Loved” had more than 228 million streams, and his debut album, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, sold more than 640,000 units across all formats.
Ed Sheeran followed Capaldi on the best-selling album list with No. 6 Collaborations Project. Other albums that made the top 10 included The Greatest Showman soundtrack, Billie Eilish‘s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” soundtrack, and George Ezra‘s Staying At Tamara’s.
Other significant figures included vinyl’s rise, record high cassette sales, and CD and download album sales declines.
“British music proved once again in 2019 that it has a bright future,” stated BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor.
Photo credit: Mark Surridge
The #1 song in America this week was released more than 25 years ago. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is often deemed the most recent tune to become a holiday standard, but for reasons mostly related to business, technology, and Billboard chart rules, it was not a Hot 100 … More »
Ed Sheeran will be stepping away from both the music and the limelight, according to an announcement made on the singer’s social media earlier this week.
Although Sheeran promises to be back, the singer-songwriter seems to be stepping away indefinitely after going “non stop since 2017.” His Instagram post goes on to read that he’ll be taking “a breather to travel, write and read” and will “be off all social media until it’s time to be back.”
Sheeran’s hiatus going into 2020 is well deserved though, as the multi-Grammy-winning artist can easily put his money where his mouth is. Not only has Sheeran garnered a hefty list of accolades, including more time spent at the top of the Top 40 singles chart than any other artist in the 2010s (572 weeks), but his recent ÷ Tour became the highest-grossing tour of all time, surpassing U2 with $775 million raked in.
With an Instagram profile photo that’s all but blacked out (simply reading “BRB”), it might be some time before fans see the UK talent making headlines or topping charts again. A bit of soul-searching could be the refresher he needs, however, as Sheeran says he’ll return when he’s “lived a little more to actually have something to write about.”
Photo credit: Mark Surridge
UK grime king Stormzy has been building up to his sophomore album, Heavy Is The Head, for a bit now. He put out its lead single, “Vossi Bop,” back in April, and those have been followed by “Crown,” “Wiley Flow,” and “Own It” — featuring guest spots from both … More »
Right now, the London grime veteran Stormzy is one of the biggest pop stars in the UK. This year, Stormzy headlined Glastonbury and released the singles “Vossi Bop” and “Crown,” and he’s got a new album called Heavy Is The Head coming out next month. Today, he’s unleashed the new jam … More »
Before his death in 2016, Prince had started work on a memoir with co-writer and Paris Review editor Dan Piepenbring. And after Prince died, Piepenbring went about finishing the book, using the time he’d spent with Prince and combining it with lyrics, rare photos, scrapbook pages, and cartoons drawn by Prince. That book, entitled The … More »