According to the Official Charts Company’s year-end sales data, published today by British recorded music trade body The BPI, 2013 was the year of the Million Sellers! Four singles released during the last twelve months have crossed over this landmark sales threshold, creating the biggest annual haul of million-selling singles since 1998.
Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines FT TI and Pharrell Williams was the biggest selling single of 2013, clocking up sales of more than 1.47 million copies since it debuted at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart back in June. It spent five non-consecutive weeks at the top spot, and is also the longest running Number 1 of 2013.
Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, which became the first single released in 2013 to reach a million sales and the French dance duo’s first ever UK chart topper, is at Number 2 in the year-end Top 40. Get Lucky, which also features Pharrell Williamsalongside legendary Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, reached one million sales on its 69th day of release in the UK. It ends the year with a sales tally of more then 1.3 million copies.
Speaking of his amazing chart success in 2013, Pharrell told OfficialCharts.com: “I’m humbled by all of the love the UK fans have shown. But, when you are working with incredible talent like The Robots and Robin, great things are bound to happen.”
Avicii claims the third biggest selling single of 2013 with Wake Me Up. The Swedish DJ and producer, who was just 23-years-old when he debuted at Number 1 with the track, also holds the title of the fastest-selling single of 2013: 267,000 copies of Wake Me Up were purchased during its first week of release. It spent three weeks at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart and has sold 1.18 million copies during the last twelve months.
“Having the fastest selling record of 2013 is obviously a huge deal to me,” Avicii told BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show host Jameela Jamil. “I never thought being on the Official Chart was an option for my music, so just having a Number 1 is insane!”
The final Million Seller released in 2013, and only single by a home-grown artist to reach this sales milestone, belongs to Passenger, AKA Mike Rosenberg. More than 1.03 million copies of the 29-year-old Brighton-based singer/songwriter’s heartfelt acoustic track were purchased over the last twelve months, and no one is more surprised at the track’s success than he is!
“It feels wonderful but completely ridiculous if I’m honest!” Mike told OfficialCharts.com. “For the last five years I’ve been busking and playing tiny gigs in pubs, so for one of my songs to suddenly get so popular is not only a dream come true, but also a huge surprise.”
Given its amazing sales, it’s even more surprising that Let Her Go never actually reached Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart; it peaked at Number 2 behind Daft Punk’s Get Lucky back in April.
The Official Biggest Selling Singles Of 2013 Top 5 is rounded off by Naughty Boy’s La La La. The Watford-based producer shot to fame in 2012 after producing Emeli Sande’s record breaking debut album, Our Version Of Events. He is joined on the track by vocalist Sam Smith, who has been tipped for great things in 2014 after being awarded the BRITs Critics Choice prize ahead of next year’s ceremony. La La La has sold over 941,000 copies since it was released in May.
Sales of singles in 2013 came close to matching the all-time record set in 2012 (186.6 million) at 182.2 million – the second highest in British music history. The Official Top 10 Biggest Selling Singles Of 2013 have each sold over 710,000 copies during the last 12 months, while the Top 20 have all sold over 507,000 copies apiece.
UK artists make up 37.5% of all tracks in the Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles Of 2013, down from 45% in 2012, with 15 tracks in the Top 40. Passenger is the highest charting British male artist of 2013 with Let Her Go (Number 4), while Bastille are the highest charting British group with Pompeii (11), and Ellie Goulding is the highest charting British female artist of 2013 with Burn (15).
Pharrell Williams was the undisputed king of the UK’s Official Singles Chart in 2013 with two Million Sellers to his name. He also spent 10 weeks at Number 1 across Get Lucky, Blurred Lines and his current single, Happy, which also became the final Number 1 of 2013. He is one of eight acts to feature on two singles among 2013’s Top 40 biggest sellers. The others being:
Avicii (Wake Me Up: 3 and I Could Be The One with Nicky Romero: 27), Calvin Harris (I Need Your Love with Ellie Goulding: 32, Drinking From The Bottle FT Tinie Tempah: 40), Ellie Goulding (Burn: 15, I Need Your Love with Calvin Harris: 32), Jason Derulo (Talk Dirty FT 2 Chainz: 25, The Other Side: 39), Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Thrift Shop FT Wanz: 7, Can’t Hold Us FT Ray Dalton: 13), Rihanna (Stay FT Mikky Ekko: 22, The Monster with Eminem: 26) and Will.i.am (Scream & Shout FT Britney Spears: 18, Bang Bang: 33).
2013 also saw two of the closest chart battles of recent times: US band OneRepublic‘s Counting Stars (9th in the year-end Top 40) went head-to-head with new UK group The Vamps’ Can We Dance back in September. OneRepublic took the top spot on the Official Singles Chart by an incredibly close margin of just 1,150 copies, to earn their first UK Number 1.
“I am thrilled to be apart of the year end chart,” says OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, who also co-wrote Ellie Goulding’s smash hit Burn. “Growing up, the UK music scene was my biggest influence, so it’s cool to be a part of it now as a writer and performer.”
Meanwhile, at the end of November, Lily Allen and Bastille took it right down to the wire: Lily‘s cover of Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know from the John Lewis Christmas TV ad campaign (Number 34 in the year-end Top 40) and Bastille‘s Of The Night were separated by just 660 copies. Lily clinched victory at the 11th hour to score her third UK Number 1 single.
“I’m thrilled to be Number 1,” Lily told OfficialCharts.com. “Thanks to everyone who has supported me. I’m really looking forward to 2014!”