Taylor Swift was the best-selling recording artist of 2019, according to IFPI, the organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide. Swift earns the honor for the second time, her first being in 2014.
The accolade caps off a banner year for Swift: The singer-songwriter released her seventh studio album, Lover, in August (the first under her new label, Republic Records), which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 867,000 equivalent album units in its first week — spawning hit singles “ME!” featuring Panic! at the Disco‘s Brendon Urie, “You Need To Calm Down” and the title track.
“Taylor Swift is the epitome of a truly global star,” commented IFPI CEO Frances Moore. “She continues to grow as an artist and maintains an incredibly strong connection with her fanbase, whilst continuing to evolve her sound with each album. It is a pleasure to be able to present her with the Global Recording Artist of the Year award for the second time.”
Swift follows 2018’s top seller, Drake, who fell to eighth place in 2019 after a quieter year for the star rapper. Each year, IFPI calculates the winner based on consumption across all formats (including streaming, digital and physical album and singles sales) and all countries.
Ed Sheeran — who released his album No. 6 Collaborations Project featuring artists from Stormzy to Cardi B and Camila Cabello in July — takes second place. In third is Post Malone, whose collaborative single with Swae Lee, “Sunflower,” continued to be a charts mainstay in 2019, and who released his third studio album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, in September.
The rest of the top 10 includes a range of artists both new and established. Teenaged dark-pop superstar Billie Eilish lands in fourth place, having set multiple new charts records with her 2019 debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Meanwhile, two iconic British bands make the cut: Queen at number five and The Beatles at number 10.
Notably, Drake and Lady Gaga still make the list despite not having released a new album in 2019 (and for Gaga, not since 2016).
“The ‘top ten’ showcases some of the brightest and most talented artists from around the world, from newer stars, such as Billie Eilish and BTS, to legacy acts like The Beatles and Queen,” Moore added. “This range demonstrates how people’s love of music can be continually ignited by new and diverse artists and yet endures across decades. I congratulate all the artists in the chart.”
See the IFPI’s full 2019 ranking, and past rankings, below.
IFPI Top 10 Global Recording Artists of 2019
1. Taylor Swift
2. Ed Sheeran
3. Post Malone
4. Billie Eilish
6. Ariana Grande
9. Lady Gaga
10. The Beatles
Previous IFPI Top Global Recording Artist Winners
2018 – Drake
2017 – Ed Sheeran
2016 – Drake
2015 – Adele
2014 – Taylor Swift
2013 – One Direction