Skip to main content

9 Ways the Royal Wedding Impacted the Billboard Charts

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19 was one of the most-watched events of the year. In the U.S. alone, 22.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The wedding also…

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19 was one of the most-watched events of the year. In the U.S. alone, 22.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony.

The wedding also affected several of Billboard’s charts, as newcomers Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Karen Gibson & The Kingdom Choir stormed the charts in the first full tracking week after the wedding.

Here’s a look at the 9 ways the wedding impacted Billboard’s charts:

1. Thanks to a sales bump generated from buzz around the wedding, British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason — who played at the ceremony —  debuted at No. 1 on the Traditional Classical Albums chart with his album Inspiration. The set sold 9,000 copies in the week ending May 24, according to Nielsen Music, becoming the largest sales week for any traditional classical album in nine years.


2. Inspiration also re-entered the overall Classical Albums chart (which combines the traditional and crossover classical albums) at No. 1.

3. Thanks to Kanneh-Mason and the wedding, classical digital song sales soared to the genre’s biggest week in over a year. Classical song sales rose 61 percent to 70,000 downloads sold in the week ending May 24, according to Nielsen Music.

4. The Royal Wedding: The Official Album, which was recorded live during the ceremony, debuted at No. 2 on the Traditional Classical Albums chart and Classical Albums chart with 2,000 copies sold.

5. Kanneh-Mason debuted at No. 1 on the Emerging Artists chart, becoming the first classical artist to reach No. 1. He also debuted at No. 63 on the Billboard Artist 100.

6. Kanneh-Mason also debuted at No. 7 on the Social 50 chart thanks to a significant boost in Twitter followers and Wikipedia views,

7. Karen Gibson & The Kingdom Choir’s “Stand By Me” cover, which they performed at the ceremony, debuted at No. 1 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart. The version logged 9,000 downloads in the tracking week, prompting a No. 1 debut on Gospel Digital Song Sales. The group also debuted at No. 15 on Hot Gospel Songs with “Amen, This Little Light of Mine.”

8. Ben E. King’s original “Stand By Me” recording, which hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961, surged in sales and streams after Gibson’s performance at the wedding. King’s version tallied 5.6 million U.S. streams (a 30 percent increase) and 6,000 downloads (a 423 percent increase).

9. Thanks to the sales and streams bump, King’s “Stand By Me” debuted at No. 5 on the LyricFind U.S. chart and at No. 10 on the LyricFind Global chart.