The Top 10 Global Artists Of 2017

Top 10 artists 2017 on the Music 3.0 blogSometimes your view of exactly what’s hot in music can be skewed by the country that you live in, but you get a dose of reality when you look at the IFPI global rankings for the top 10 artists last year. The IFPI’s rankings use ‘album equivalent’ units to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams so it takes into account all types of media distribution, so it’s about as fair as you can get at the moment. And the top 10 are:

  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

The previous recipients of the award include:

  • 2016 Drake
  • 2015 Adele
  • 2014 Taylor Swift
  • 2013 One Direction

Sheeran is truly a global star, and much of it is because of last year’s ÷(Divide) album, which was not only the global best-selling album of last year but has been certified as multi-Platinum in 36 markets. That coupled with his best selling single “Shape of You” (which was the best-selling single globally of 2017 and has been certified as multi-Platinum in 32 markets) truly catapulted the artist into the rarified superstar category. On a record label level, Atlantic/Warner-signed Sheeran heads a Top 5 list where all other artists (Drake -#2, Taylor Swift -#3, Kendrick Lamar – #4 and Eminem – #5) are affiliated with Universal labels.

An album equivalent unit is made up of any of the following: 1 physical CD or vinyl album sale, 10 song downloads, or 1,500 streams. That’s how both the IFPI, RIAA and Billboard now measure, but it’s not the only way. The UK’s Official Charts Company takes the 12 most-streamed tracks from an album, with the top two songs being given lesser weight so that the figure will reflect the popularity of the album as a whole rather than of one or two successful singles. The adjusted total is divided by 1000 and added to the album sales figure. Regardless of how it’s measure, Ed Sheeran had a monster year.

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