Ed Sheeran officially named world’s biggest recording artist of 2017

Ed Sheeran was officially the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2017 on a global unit basis, according to the IFPI.

Atlantic/Warner-signed Sheeran heads a Top 5 list where all other artists are affiliated with Universal labels: Drake (No.2), Taylor Swift (No.3), Kendrick Lamar (No.4) and Eminem (No.5).

The IFPI’s rankings use ‘album equivalent’ units to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams.


Released in March 2017, Ed Sheeran’s ÷ was the global best-selling album of last year and has been certified as multi-Platinum in 36 markets.

Shape of You was the best-selling single globally of 2017 and has been certified as multi-Platinum in 32 markets.

Max Lousada, CEO of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group & Chairman and CEO of Warner Music UK, said: “Being crowned the biggest star in the world, with the biggest song and biggest album, is the result of years of ambition, creativity, and hard work on a global scale.

“Ed is truly an incredible songwriter, vocalist and performer, whose ability to tell stories and make people feel is what stands him out from the crowd.”

Max Lousada, Warner Music

“Ed is truly an incredible songwriter, vocalist and performer, whose ability to tell stories and make people feel is what stands him out from the crowd. He’s always had a totally authentic connection with his fans, something he places over everything else.

“Congrats also to Stuart Camp, the Atlantic teams in the UK and US, and everyone at Warner who contributed to Ed’s amazing success story.”

IFPI chief executive, Frances Moore, commented: “It’s wonderful to be able to announce Ed Sheeran as the IFPI Global Recording Artist 2017. The success Ed has achieved is astonishing and testament to his ability to write and perform songs that connect with a truly global fanbase.

“This year’s Global Top 10 really is a ‘who’s who’ of popular music. Each artist has a unique impact on the music industry through the talent and energy they are channelling through their work. I congratulate them all for such a successful year.”

Today’s news follows on from sweeping Warner wins at the Grammys and the BRITS, as well as strong financials earlier this month and market share growth in 2017.

[Pictured; Stuart Camp, Max Lousada, Ed Sheeran, Ben Cook]


The IFPI’s Top 10 Global Recording Artists of 2017
  1. Ed Sheeran
  2. Drake
  3. Taylor Swift
  4. Kendrick Lamar
  5. Eminem
  6. Bruno Mars
  7. The Weeknd
  8. Imagine Dragons
  9. Linkin Park
  10. The Chainsmokers

(Photo L-R: Stuart Camp, Ed Sheeran’s manager; Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group and Chairman & CEO, Warner Music UK; Ed Sheeran; Ben Cook, President, Atlantic Records UK. Photo by John Marshall)Music Business Worldwide

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