Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” was the best-selling single in Australia in 2014, while Ed Sheeran’s sophomore set X was the year’s most popular album, according to new figures published by trade association ARIA.
Sheeran, who in March and April will tour Australian arenas with just a loop pedal and acoustic guitar, leads the 2014 ARIA Top 100 Albums Chart ahead of albums by Taylor Swift (1989), the Frozen soundtrack, INXS (The Very Best) and Coldplay (Ghost Stories).
Sheeran’s X spent six weeks at No. 1 during 2014, and the album is now closing-in on four-times platinum (280,000 units).
Homegrown artists accounted for an “exceptional” 36 of the top 100 albums, ARIA reports, up from 27 in 2013 and 2012. The popular — and controversial — docuseries Never Tear Us Apart propelled INXS to No. 4 on the year-end chart, meaning the now-retired new wave legends had the year’s best-selling album by an Aussie act, and by a group. INXS’ The Very Best was the best-selling recording by the half-year mark and it notched-up seven weeks at No. 1, the best by any act for the year.
Dig a little deeper, and there are a few interesting take-aways from the list. Off the back of a hugely successful national tour, Katy Perry’s Prism figured at No. 7 on the 2014 rankings, having already achieved the No. 2 position in 2013. And Michael Buble’s Christmas appeared at No. 8 on the 2014 chart, making it four successive years appearing in the top ten of the annual chart.
The year-end ARIA albums chart can be found here.
Meanwhile, Pharrell, who toured Australia in 2014, finished the year with the No. 1 single after “Happy” stayed at the chart summit for 12 weeks. The song is nine times platinum certified (63,000 units). Rounding out the top five of the 2014 ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart were songs from Meghan Trainor (“All About That Bass”), Taylor Swift (“Shake It Off”) and a pair of Aussie acts, Sheppard’s “Geronimo” and Justice Crew’s “Que Sera”, a song that spent nine weeks at No. 1, a new record for an Australian artist.
Sheeran was the only musician to contribute four singles to the top 100, with “Thinking Out Loud” (No. 7), “Sing” (No. 33), “Don’t” (No. 42) and “I See Fire” (No. 78) all charting, while David Guetta and Calvin Harris each had three entries.
All told, Australian artists accounted for 18 of the top 100 singles for the year, up from 13 in 2013 and 11 in 2012.
The year-end ARIA singles chart can be found here.
Just three artists appeared in the top ten of both charts — Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Sam Smith.
ARIA CEO Dan Rosen comments, “2014 was an exciting year on the ARIA Charts, and proved to be a monumental year for our local artists with 16 Australian singles and albums soaring to the top of the charts. It is extremely pleasing to see 36 Aussie albums in top 100 this year. This is a great achievement for our local industry and shows how Australian music fans have embraced our local artists.”
ARIA compiled its year-end charts using sales data accumulated from charts from Jan. 13, 2014 to Jan. 5, 2015, inclusive.
Top 10 Albums of 2014 in Australia:
1. Ed Sheeran, X (Warner Music Australia)
2. Taylor Swift, 1989 (Big Machine/Universal Music Australia)
3. Soundtrack, Frozen (Walt Disney/UMA)
4. INXS, The Very Best (Petrol Records/UMA)
5. Coldplay, Ghost Stories (Parlophone/WMA)
6. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour (Capitol/EMI)
7. Katy Perry, Prism (Capitol/EMI)
8. Michael Buble, Christmas (Reprise/WMA)
9. Hilltop Hoods, Walking Under Stars (Golden Era/UMA)
10. Human Nature, Jukebox (Sony Music Entertainment Australia)
Top 10 Albums of 2014 in Australia:
1. Pharrell Williams, “Happy” (Columbia/Sony)
2. Meghan Trainor, “All About That Bass” (Epic/Sony)
3. Taylor Swift, “Shake It Off” (Big Machine/Universal Music Australia)
4. Sheppard, “Geronimo” (MGM)
5. Justice Crew, “Que Sera” (Sony)
6. Sia, “Chandelier” (Inertia)
7. Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud” (WMA)
8. Sam Smith, “Stay With Me” (Capitol/EMI)
9. Timmy Trumpet featuring Savage, “Freaks” (Ministry of Sound/UMA)
10. G.R.L., “Ugly Heart” (RCA/Sony)