Taylor Swift reigns again as IFPI’s top recording artist of the year

Grab the smelling salts and sit down for this seismic shock news… Taylor Swift was the biggest-selling artist globally in 2023.

It may be no surprise, but at least there is hard data behind it. Swift has topped global labels body the IFPI’s annual chart of the biggest-selling recording artists, based on worldwide sales and streams last year.

It’s the  that Swift has won the award, as well as previously topping the rankings in 2014 and 2019.

(The chart was first published in 2013, and the list of winners is a roll-call of streaming-era royalty. In chronological order: One Direction, Taylor Swift, Adele, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Drake, Taylor Swift, BTS, BTS, Taylor Swift, and now Swift again.)

gold and blue crown

Actually, there is one big shock in the 2023 chart: BTS didn’t even make the top 20, despite the strongest showing yet for K-Pop artists.

Seventeen (in second place), Stray Kids (third), Tomorrow X Together (seventh) and NewJeans (eighth) all made the top 10 for last year, with Ive (12th) and NCT Dream (15th) breaking the top 20 for the first time.

So, six of the 20 biggest-selling artists in the world last year were K-Pop acts, and that’s without the scene’s leading lights BTS and Blackpink making the list.

Other new entries in the 2023 chart include Morgan Wallen (sixth), SZA (13th), Zach Bryan (16th) and Japanese group King & Prince (20th), with re-entries for Lana Del Rey (10th – she last made the chart in 2014) and Travis Scott (17th / 2019).

Streaming perennials Drake (fourth), The Weeknd (fifth), Bad Bunny (ninth) and Ed Sheeran (11th) make the 2023 rankings, while Eminem placed 14th despite not releasing a new studio album last year.

Despite repeated controversies around his anti-semitic views, Kanye West placed 18th in the 2023 chart, with Post Malone in 19th place.

The artists chart announcement will be followed in the coming days by the IFPI’s rankings for the top singles and albums for 2023, as it begins to build buzz ahead of this spring’s launch of its annual Global Music Report.

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