The UK music industry is celebrating a double success today after it was revealed the world's top five biggest selling albums of last year were all by British acts. The British Phonographic Industry also announced a huge boost in music sales, despite two of the country's biggest music retailers falling victim to the credit crunch.
Coldplay's album Viva la Vida topped the official global chart with sales of 6.6million. And despite releasing her album in 2006, Amy Winehouse's Back to Black came second, recording sales of 5.1million worldwide. Rock band AC/DC, founded by Scottish brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, notched up sales of 5million with their album Black Ice, which was only released in October. Welsh singer Duffy managed 4.5million while Hackney-born X-Factor star Leona Lewis sold 4.3million copies of her debut album Spirit.
The figures were complied by Media Traffic, who collected data from more than 34 national charts as well as Russia, China and India, who do not have official sales charts. They beat a host of American-born artists including Madonna, Beyonce Knowles and Britney Spears. Last year, Amy Winehouse was the only home-grown artist to make the top ten.
The news comes as the BPI announced record sales last year, driven by a boom in digital downloads. The body, which represents the recorded music business, said sales of singles grew by a third to 115 million - the highest on record.
The UK albums market recorded a 3.2 per cent drop, although in total, ten million albums were downloaded digitally - a 65 per cent increase compared to 2007.
The figures were particularly encouraging following news that music retailers Woolworths and Zavvi and suppliers Entertainment UK have folded because of the current economic crises.
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said customers had simply switched from high street shops to supermarkets and digital retailers. He said: 'Every business and consumer in the UK is having a tough time, and these difficult trading conditions make the resilience of the UK's music market all the more notable.