Chart Beat

Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ Tops Britain’s All-Time Downloaded Chart

Robin Thicke Performing
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Robin Thicke Performing

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has been revealed as the most downloaded track of all-time in the United Kingdom.

The controversial hit (which features T.I. and Pharrell Williams) is one of only two songs to sell more than 1.5 million downloads, according to a new countdown compiled by the Official Charts Company and unveiled by BBC Radio 1.

“Blurred Lines” takes top spot on the Official Download Chart Top 100 ahead of Adele’s 2011 hit “Someone Like You,” which has sold 1.53 million units, while Maroon 5 ft Christina Aguilera’s “Moves Like Jagger” (2011), Gotye ft Kimbra’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” (2011) and Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” (2009) round out the top 5. 

On its release in May 2013, “Blurred Lines” topped the U.K. singles chart with opening sales of 190,000; the track went on to lead the singles chart on five occasions, and it has shifted more than 1.54 million downloads to date. A year on, it's still moving copies, having sold about 70,000 units this year. 

"Blurred Lines” has had its detractors. The song was banned from playlists at a string of British university bars last year following criticism that its promo was sexist and its lyrics were “rapey.”

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Elsewhere on the "all-time" list, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” becomes the fastest-growing new million-seller, according to the charts compiler. It's surpassed 1.3 million sales to take ninth place.

The download chart was published as part of the U.K. music industry’s “Decade Of Digital” initiative, which is intended to celebrate 10 years since the legal download market in the U.K. took off in 2004. The full chart can be seen here.

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Downloads remain a big business in the U.K. Unlike in the U.S., where digital track and album sales fell in 2013, streaming services in Britain have yet to cannibalize download sales. According to recent data published by the BPI, digital track sales were down 4.4% from the previous year’s record figure, but still generated £121.7 million ($203.5 million) in revenue - the second-highest total of all time. Revenue from digital album sales was up 19.5% in the U.K. last year, totaling £160.5 million ($268.5 million).