The British Phonographic Industry (or BPI from now on because that's long to type) has reported that sales of albums by British artists are at their highest ever since records began in the year 2000. For more numbers, that means one in seven albums purchased anywhere in the world has been recorded by a British artist – at the moment, at least. For even more numbers, that's roughly 13.7% of global sales.

If you're impressed by numbers then please continue reading: the UK's population comprises less than 1% of the world's total, its GDP around 4%, so the surge in British artists finding international success is something to celebrate.

The BPI's chief executive, Geoff Taylor (pictured above, right, with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, left), said:

"Music is a tremendous exports success story for the UK - all around the world, fans are listening to the records we produce, supporting not only our balance of trade but a positive image for Britain overseas."

The BBC reported on some specifics (with more numbers included), citing the popularity of "London Grammar in France and Australia, James Blunt in Germany, Paloma Faith in Australia and Arctic Monkeys in countries including the US... British artists accounted for 20.4% of sales in Australia, while in Italy it was 19.8%."

Ed Sheeran, Adele, One Direction, Sam Smith and others account for some of the success, but it's also the UK's musical legacy that's having an impact; Pink Floyd in particular had quite a good 2014. Our exports also include The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, etc. etc.

And in the UK itself 2014 saw a significant first: an all-British lineup in that year's top ten albums, as measured by the Official Charts Company.

Oh and I forgot to mention some upstart called Paul McCartney (think I spelt that right) who featured on a Kanye West song recently. Plus, Mr. West also seems to like the UK's seemingly re-birthed grime scene, particularly Skepta. These aren't albums, but shows a continued interest – if only from Yeezy – in the UK, its artists and their music.

More than anything else, it marks a significant growth in the UK's influence in the world as a "soft power" – the first place of which has for a while now belonged to the USA.


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