Who were the world’s ten best-selling music acts of 2017? The standings have been revealed, and Ed Sheeran has come out on top.
In a list made up of only one UK artist, seven US acts and two Canadians, international music body IFPI has named Ed Sheeran as 2017’s best-selling musician globally following the incredible success of his third album ÷. Shape of You, the lead single from the album, spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 here in the UK, while it also spent 12 weeks at Number 1 in the US, and topped charts in a further 42 countries. ÷ was also a global success, hitting Number 1 in 14 territories.
By Jack White Who were the world’s ten best-selling music acts of 2017? The standings have been revealed, and Ed Sheeran has come out on top. In a list made up of only one UK artist, seven US acts and two Canadians, international music body IFPI has named Ed Sheeran as 2017’s best-selling musician globally following the incredible success of his third album ÷. Shape of You, the lead single from the album, spent 14 non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 here in the UK, while it also spent 12 weeks at Number 1 in the US, and topped charts in a further 42 countries was also a global success, hitting Number 1 in 14 territories. Here in the UK, Ed’s third studio record finished 2017 with combined sales of 2.7 million, more than any other album. 672,000 of those sales were logged in its first week of release in March, making it the fastest-selling ever by a solo male, and the third fastest-selling album of all time behind Adele’s 25 and Oasis’ Be Here Now.
Next it’s on to the Andes
Last year’s leader Drake had to settle for the runner-up spot this time around, while Taylor Swift is the only female in the Top 10 at Number 3; her album reputation sold over one million copies in its first week on sale in the US.
Aside from Drake, rap dominates the list, with Kendrick Lamar and Drake completing the Top 5. Imagine Dragons and The Chainsmokers are two of three groups in the Top 10, the other being Linkin Park at Number 9.
Lily Allen has hinted there may be trouble with her new album No Shame.
Lily’s last release was 2014’s Sheezus, which hit the top of the U.K. albums chart, though received mixed reviews from critics. The singer announced in January (18) that she was gearing up to release No Shame in “early summer 2018”, though a cryptic Twitter post has left fans wondering if there are problems with the 32-year-old’s new music. “When people ask why my album is taking so long,” she tweeted on Tuesday (27Feb18), next to a link to a Guardian article titled “Madonna and Grimes lay bare cost of creative freedom for female artists”. Over the weekend both Madonna and Canadian musician Grimes took to social media to vent their frustrations at the current state of the music industry.
Underneath a video of music trailblazer Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary marked the 20th anniversary of her album Ray of Light by posting a glowing tribute to the record.
“Can you help me now please!!” Madonna commented, before adding: “Remember when I made records with other artists from beginning to end and I was allowed to be a visionary and not have to go to song writing camps where no one can sit still for more than 15 minutes.” Grimes had a similar outburst, writing online that she was working on two albums, “One final album for my s**t label”, followed by another “on a label of my choosing”. The 29-year-old is signed to independent label 4AD, and recently hit out at her management in a now-deleted tweet to a fan. “indie music is more about egos than money. if u hurt someone’s ego, they don’t mind forgoing what you are potentially worth to them to take u down (sic),” she fumed.
Grimes had a similar outburst, writing online that she was working on two albums, “One final album for my s**t label”, followed by another “on a label of my choosing”.
Underneath a video of music trailblazer Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary marked the 20th anniversary of her album Ray of Light by posting a glowing tribute to the record. “Can you help me now please!!” Madonna commented, before adding: “Remember when I made records with other artists from beginning to end and I was allowed to be a visionary and not have to go to song writing camps where no one can sit still for more than 15 minutes.”
Robbie Williams will go head-to-head with Olympic athlete Usain Bolt at the 2018 Soccer Aid charity game.
The Rock DJ singer will serve as the captain of the England team, while Olympic sprinter Bolt will head up the World squad in the latest edition of the charity tournament, which Robbie co-founded in 2006. “I am buzzing that Soccer Aid for Unicef is back,” Robbie said in a statement. “Reclaiming the title for England this year is going to taste so much sweeter with Usain leading the Soccer Aid World XI. I can’t wait to lead out the England team on Sunday 10th June at Old Trafford in what really is a game like no other. With your support, we will help children in danger around the world.” Retired athletics star Bolt, who will be playing his first official soccer match, said his team will be unbeatable and that he already has a special celebration planned for when he scores.
“It is my dream to make it as a professional footballer, so to be able to step out onto the pitch at Old Trafford in June, and play against some of football’s biggest legends is going to be remarkable,” he said. “I enjoy the thrill of competition in front of a crowd, so Robbie and his England team better watch out as I won’t be going easy on them!”
Robbie and Usain, who have recorded an advert for the competition, will be joined by celebrities and soccer legends which have yet to be announced.
The match will take place at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England on 10 June (18) and will be broadcast live on ITV in the U.K. All profits from ticket sales and viewer donations will be given to United Nations Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) UK, for which Robbie serves as an ambassador.
The Rolling Stones have put England in their sites for 2018.
The band skipped their home country last year during the first year of their “No Filter Tour” but have set seven shows for the British Isles along with a few extra dates on the European continent.
The Rolling Stones were at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in the United States in 1964, and identified with the youthful and rebellious counterculture of the 1960s. Rooted in blues and early rock and roll, the group began a short period of musical experimentation in the mid-1960s that peaked with the psychedelic album Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967). Subsequently, the group returned to its “bluesy” roots with Beggars Banquet (1968) which along with its follow-ups Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile on Main St. (1972) is generally considered to be the band’s best work and is seen as their “Golden Age”. During this period, they were first introduced on stage as “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World”. Musicologist Robert Palmer attributed the endurance of the Rolling Stones to their being “rooted in traditional verities, in rhythm-and-blues and soul music”, while “more ephemeral pop fashions have come and gone”.
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London, England in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Mick Jagger (lead vocals), Keith Richards (guitar, backing vocals), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued as a touring member until his death in 1985. Jones left the band less than a month prior to his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and has been on guitar in tandem with Richards ever since. Following Wyman’s departure in 1993, Darryl Jones joined as their touring bassist. Touring keyboardists for the band have been Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), Billy Preston (through the mid-1970s) and Chuck Leavell (1982–present). The band was first led by Brian Jones, but after developing into the band’s songwriters, Jagger and Richards assumed leadership while Jones dealt with legal and personal troubles.
The right place
The band continued to release commercially successful albums, including Some Girls (1978) and Tattoo You (1981), which were their most popular albums worldwide. From 1983 to 1987, tensions between Jagger and Richards almost caused the band to split. However, they managed to patch up their friendship after they separated temporarily to work on solo projects, and experienced a comeback with Steel Wheels (1989), which was followed by a large stadium and arena tour. Since the 1990s, new recorded material from the group has been less well-received and less frequent. Despite this, the Rolling Stones have continued to be a huge attraction on the live circuit, with stadium tours in the 1990s and 2000s. By 2007, the band had four of the top five highest-grossing concert tours of all time: Voodoo Lounge Tour (1994–1995), Bridges to Babylon Tour (1997–1998), Licks Tour (2002–2003) and A Bigger Bang Tour (2005–2007).
The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” list and their estimated album sales are above 250 million. They have released 30 studio albums, 18 live albums and numerous compilations. Let It Bleed (1969) was their first of five consecutive No. 1 studio and live albums in the UK. Sticky Fingers (1971) was the first of eight consecutive No. 1 studio albums in the US. In 2008, the band ranked 10th on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists chart. In 2012, the band celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger became childhood friends and classmates in 1950 in Dartford, Kent, before the Jagger family moved to Wilmington, five miles (8.05 km) away, in 1954.In the mid-1950s, Jagger formed a garage band with his friend Dick Taylor; the group mainly played material by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf and Bo Diddley. Jagger met Richards again in 1960 on platform two of Dartford railway station, and the Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records that Jagger was carrying revealed a common interest. A musical partnership began shortly afterwards. Richards joined Jagger and Taylor at frequent meetings at Jagger’s house. The meetings switched to Taylor’s house in late 1961, where the three were joined by Alan Etherington and Bob Beckwith; the quintet called themselves the Blues Boys.
In March 1962 the Blue Boys read about the Ealing Jazz Club in Jazz News newspaper, which mentioned Alexis Korner’s rhythm and blues band, Blues Incorporated. The group sent a tape of their best recordings to Korner, who was favourably impressed, and visited Ealing Jazz Club on 7 April where they met the members of Blues Incorporated, who included the slide guitarist Brian Jones, the keyboardist Ian Stewart and the drummer Charlie Watts. After a meeting with Korner, Jagger and Richards started jamming with the group.
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M.I.A. has insisted “revolution” is a lot more “marketable” now, compared to the resistance she faced for speaking out during her career.
The rapper, real name Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam, began her recording career in 2002 and has since had hits with songs such as Born Free and Paper Planes, while also garnering a reputation for controversy due to her activism and outspoken social and political commentary. While M.I.A. has received much criticism over the years for encouraging change in the cultural landscape, the 42-year-old wondered why her words were shut down, yet initiatives such as Time’s Up anti-sexual harassment movement have been widely accepted and glorified.
“Right now it’s the marketable thing – revolution,” the singer-songwriter said in an interview with website High Snobiety. “Everybody who spoke at the Grammys is like ‘OMG, so powerful’ about things that are still within a sphere of acceptableness, but when I said things like that before… it was like the biggest thing.”
The Grammy-nominee, who is of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, was previously married to American environmentalist Benjamin Bronfman and gave birth to their first child Ikhyd in February 2009 before the pair split in 2012. Yet no matter what state she found herself in, M.I.A. felt as though she just couldn’t win over her commentators.
“The whole cultural system of entertainment was so grossed out by me,” she shared. “When I was trying to settle down and be normal and get married and have a baby, they were like ‘WTF are you doing? Why are you in Beverly Hills?’ And then the year after when I’m just totally kicked out of that whole system and I’m poor, everybody says ‘You’re a s**t artist and no one likes you because you’re not a billionaire…” she recalled.
The musician is the focus of upcoming documentary Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., which admitted she found a difficult process and is treating as “free therapy.”
Chris Cornell’s widow has called out the rocker’s doctor for prescribing him a drug deemed unsuitable for recovering addicts to treat a shoulder injury a year before his death.
The Soundgarden frontman, 52, had been sober since 2003, but his wife, Vicky Cornell, reveals he suffered a relapse in 2016 – and she believes that ultimately led to his suicide in May, 2017.
“Approximately a year before he died, he was prescribed a Benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety medication) to help him sleep,” she told TV show Good Morning America. “He had torn his shoulder. He complained that the pain in his shoulder would wake him up.”
Vicky didn’t realise the impact the drug would have on Chris until it was too late.
“In retrospect, I learned it’s not supposed to be given to anybody in recovery,” she shared. “If you have to give it, they have to be closely monitored and it should not be given for more than two to three weeks, so he relapsed.
“In a seven-day period, he took 20-something pills and in a nine-day period, 33.”
Just two months before taking his own life, Chris actually reached out to an unidentified colleague, seeking help via email, writing, “Would love to talk, had relapse.”
Vicky admits “there were signs” he was in serious trouble, and she’s trying not to blame herself for failing to spot them sooner and getting him the treatment he needed.
“He had really delayed speech, he was forgetful. There were moments where I thought there was some confusion,” she recalled.
His problems became really apparent as he took to the stage for what would become his final concert in Detroit, Michigan, when he was “off-pitch” and “walked offstage” midway through the set.
Hours later, the musician hanged himself in his hotel room, and although coroners insisted the seven different types of drugs found in his system did not contribute to his death, Vicky remains convinced otherwise.
“He wanted to be there for his family, for his children,” she said. “He loved his life. He would never have ever left this world. I don’t think that he could make any decisions because of the level of impairment.”
Now Vicky is using her husband’s tragedy to raise awareness about addiction as a disease and combat the stigma associated with the illness to help save others facing similar struggles.
“It (addiction) is in all of our houses. It’s in rich, poor, it has no racial boundaries… it does not discriminate,” she declared. “I think that if there were less stigma around it, more people would speak up.
“There’s just so much labelling that comes with it (addiction), and my husband was the furthest thing from a rock star junkie. He just wasn’t. He was the best husband, the greatest father. I lost my soul mate and the love of my life.”
He logs his 26th total week on top, second only to Taylor Swift’s 36.
Drake returns to No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart (dated March 3) for a 26th total week at the summit, and for the first time since April 15, 2017. His smash single “God’s Plan” spends a fifth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and BlocBoy JB’s “Look Alive,” on which he’s featured, hits the Hot 100’s top five, rising from No. 6 to No. 5.
The Artist 100
The Artist 100, which launched in July 2014, measures artist activity across key metrics of music consumption, blending album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity.
“Plan” continues its reign on the Hot 100 thanks to a major boost from its official video release Feb. 16. The song surges by 35 percent to a massive 101.7 million U.S. streams in the week ending Feb. 22, according to Nielsen Music, becoming just the second song ever to top the 100-million-streams weekly milestone, joining Baauer’s viral hit “Harlem Shake” (103.1 million; March 2, 2013).
“Plan” also sold 81,000 downloads (up 45 percent), as it spends a fourth week atop the Digital Song Sales chart, and drew 76 million in all-format radio airplay (up 21 percent), as it zooms to the top 10 (13-8) on Radio Songs.
Drake rises 3-1 on the Artist 100 to rule the tally for a 26th total week. Only Taylor Swift has spent more time at No. 1, with 36 weeks.
Streaming accounts for the majority of Drake’s Artist 100 points (51 percent), followed by digital song sales (31 percent).
Rounding out the Artist 100 chart’s top five, Ed Sheeran dips to No. 2 after 10 total weeks at No. 1; Kendrick Lamar ascends 4-3; Imagine Dragons jump 6-4; and Bruno Mars holds at No. 5.
Among other Artist 100 moves, Brandi Carlile re-enters at a new No. 12 peak, as her album By the Way, I Forgive You, launches in the top five on the Billboard 200. At No. 13 on the Artist 100, Nipsey Hussle earns the highest debut of the week, as his debut studio album Victory Lap also posts a top five Billboard 200 debut.
Plus: Chris Jeday’s “Ahora Dice” re-enters at No. 10 thanks to help from Cardi B, Offset and Anuel AA.
DJ Kass’ viral hit “Scooby Doo Pa Pa” vaults 43-11 on Hot Latin Songs in just its fourth week on the list. The tune went viral in recent weeks as fans uploaded videos of themselves dancing to the track, likely inspired by Instagram posts from social media stars Lele Pons and Inanna Sarkis.
Unlike many viral dance crazes, there doesn’t appear to be a specific dance move that is associated with the song — though many of the videos feature aggressive twerking and shoulder shimmies.
The track rose 400 percent in streams
The track rose 400 percent in streams (to 6 million) in the week ending Feb. 15, according to Nielsen Music. It bows at No. 8 on the Latin Streaming Songs chart.
‘Ahora Dice’ Remix Revives Hit: Chris Jeday’s “Ahora Dice” is revived on the Hot Latin Songs chart (dated Feb. 24), as a new remix pushes the track to a re-entry at No. 10.
The song, which originally featured J Balvin, Ozuna and Arcangel and peaked at No. 7 on the chart dated Sept. 2, 2017, comes roaring back thanks to the help of Anuel AA, Cardi B and Offset.
All six guest stars are now featured on the track, which returns to the list with big gains in sales and streams.
All versions of the song are combined for tracking purposes, and collectively, the song grows 617 percent in sales (40-4 on Latin Digital Song Sales with 4,000 sold in the week ending Feb. 15) and 104 percent in streams (28-9 on Latin Streaming Songs; 6.1 million streams).
“Ahora Dice” earned Jeday his first top 10 on Hot Latin Songs. It now grants Cardi B her second top 10, and the first for both Offset and Anuel.
The act is the third in the 2010s to lead with its first two charting singles.
Greta Van Fleet sends its second straight single to No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart, as “Safari Song” rise 2-1 on the ranking dated Feb. 24.
“Safari” marks the Michigan rockers’ second No. 1 of two charted singles, as “Highway Tune” ruled the Mainstream Rock Songs chart for five weeks, beginning on the list dated Sept. 16, 2017.
Greta Van Fleet
Greta Van Fleet becomes the latest act to top the tally with its first two entries, with just two other acts having done so in the 2010s: Red Sun Rising (with “The Otherside” on Oct. 31, 2015, and “Emotionless” on May 7, 2016) and The Pretty Reckless (“Heaven Knows,” March 22, 2014, and “Messed Up World,” Sept. 13, 2014; the group’s subsequent two entries also reached No. 1, with its four leaders in its first four tries a feat unmatched by any other act in the chart’s 37-year history).
The ascent of “Safari”
The ascent of “Safari,” which concurrently climbs 17-15 on the all-rock-format Rock Airplay chart (4.7 million audience impressions in the week ending Feb. 15, according to Nielsen Music), is the latest triumph for Greta Van Fleet. In addition to its No. 1s on Mainstream Rock Songs, the band’s first two releases – 2017’s Black Smoke Rising EP and From the Fires double-EP – have made inroads on Billboard’s rock album charts, with the latter having debuted at No. 1 on the Dec. 2, 2017-dated Hard Rock Albums ranking with 15,000 equivalent album units.
Black Smoke Rising
To date, Black Smoke Rising has moved 70,000 units (including 47,000 in traditional album sales) in the U.S., while From the Fires has earned 104,000 units (74,000 in album sales). Both sets feature “Safari.”
The four-piece is currently at work on its debut full-length, with an anticipated release date sometime in mid-2018.