Ed Sheeran is the third UK act in five years to be crowned the world’s best-selling recording artist.
IFPI, which represents the recorded music industry worldwide, named Sheeran as the best-selling recording artist of 2017, following the record-breaking success of his third album, ÷ (Divide).
The album – certified multi-platinum in 36 territories – was the global best-selling album of last year and was also responsible for the best-selling single of 2017, with Shape of You.
Sheeran is the fifth recipient of the award, which captures artist engagement across audio streaming channels, alongside global digital and physical album and singles sales.
Previous recipients are Drake (2016), Adele (2015), Taylor Swift (2014) and One Direction (2013).
Max Lousada, Chief Executive Officer of Recorded Music for Warner Music Group and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer 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. 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, added: ‘The success Ed has achieved is astonishing and testament to his ability to write and perform songs that connect with a truly global fanbase.’
The accolade follows Sheeran’s win at the BRITs last week for the Global Success Award.
Top 10 Global Recording Artists of 2017
01. Ed Sheeran
03. Taylor Swift
04. Kendrick Lamar
06. Bruno Mars
07. The Weeknd
08. Imagine Dragons
09. Linkin Park
10. The Chainsmokers