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Adele, Drake Lead U.K.’s Year-End Charts

Adele's all-conquering "25" topped the U.K.'s year-end best-seller's list for the second successive year, while Drake's "One Dance" was the indisputable hit single of 2016, according to newly…

Adele’s all-conquering 25 (XL Recordings) topped the U.K.’s year-end best-seller’s list for the second successive year, while Drake’s “One Dance” (Cash Money/Republic) was the indisputable hit single of 2016, according to newly published data. 

Adele’s third album beat out recordings by Coldplay (A Head Full of Dreams, No. 2), Michael Ball & Alfie Boe (Together, No. 3), Justin Bieber (Purpose, No. 4) and Elvis Presley (The Wonder of You, No. 5) to top the Official U.K. Charts Company’s survey of the Top 40 Biggest Albums of 2016 (which takes into account digital, physical and streaming equivalent sales). 

The pop superstar clocked up a combined total of 753,000 sales in 2016, with 95 percent of that total made up of CD purchases and digital downloads, with the remainder from streams (the LP wasn’t made available on Spotify and Apple Music until June).


25 is now 10-times platinum in the U.K. with sales cruising past 3 million, making it just one of 26 albums in history to do so. 

The album has crushed a bunch of U.K. records since its release in November 2015, including the biggest-ever No. 1 album (upwards of 800,000 first-week sales); most-downloaded No. 1 album; fastest million-selling album in history (10 days); and fastest 2 million seller (29 days). Remarkably, 25 hasn’t left the U.K. top 40 since its release. 

Click here for the Official Charts Company’s End Of Year Album Chart. 

Davie Bowie’s chart-topping swansong Blackstar was the U.K.’s sixth biggest album in 2016, with total sales passing 410,000. The brilliant British artist’s 25th and final album was the fastest-selling LP of 2016 with 146,168 chart units shifted in the first week following its Jan. 8 release. And its 54,000 vinyl sales were the best in the year by any album, notes the OCC. Bowie’s Best Of arrived at No. 10 on the year-end list, just behind sets by Little Mix (Glory Days at No. 7), Drake (Views at No. 8) and Jess Glynne (I Cry When I Laugh at No. 9).


Meanwhile, Drake enjoyed a spectacular year-long party with “One Dance” (featuring Wizkid & Kyla), which notched 1.95 million combined sales, a figure which accounts for 530,000 downloads and 142 million streams — best among all releases. “One Dance” became Drake’s first single to hit No. 1 in the U.K., and it stayed there for 15 weeks. 

Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” came in at No. 2 on the year (with 1.49 million combined sales); Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” was No. 3 (1.46 million); Mike Posner’s “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” finished at No. 4 (1.38 million) and Calvin Harris & Rihanna’s “This Is What You Came For” ended 2016 at No. 5 (1.28 million).

Click here for the Official Charts Company’s End Of Year Singles Chart. 

In a 12-month span which saw a market-wide resurgence in vinyl sales, Bowie’s Blackstar was the leading light. The album topped the Official Top 40 best-selling vinyl chart, ahead of Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, Radiohead’s latest release A Moon Shaped Pool and Fleetwood Mac’s classic Rumours.

According to the BPI, more than 3 million vinyl albums were sold across the market in 2016, the first time that milestone has been reached for 25 years. Vinyl sales have improved in each of the last nine years, the trade body reports


Meanwhile, the Stone Roses locked up the top two positions on the year-end vinyl singles chart with the legendary Manchester alternative rock act’s comeback singles “All For One” and “Beautiful Thing,” respectively.