Taylor Swift named IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2014

23rd February 2015

Taylor Swift has been named the IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2014, receiving the annual award honouring the most popular recording artist across music downloads, streaming and physical format sales worldwide.

Taylor Swift receiving her award

Photo by Dave Hogan – Getty images

Taylor Swift receiving her award

Photo by Dave Hogan – Getty images

Taylor Swift released her fifth studio album, 1989, in October 2014 and it sold more than 1.2 million copies in its first week of release in the US alone, the highest debut sales week since Eminem’s The Eminem Show in 2002. 1989 also sold well worldwide, becoming a top five hit in Germany, Japan and the UK, the next largest recorded music markets. The album’s lead single, Shake It Off, was a top five hit in more than 20 countries, from Canada to Japan, and its accompanying video was viewed more than 350 million times on YouTube.

The second position on the chart was taken by One Direction, the UK/Irish band who topped the inaugural IFPI Global Recording Artist Chart last year. The band released their fourth studio album FOUR in November 2014, which topped the Billboard 200 chart, meaning One Direction became the first group to have all their first four studio albums debut at the top of the US charts. FOUR, which contained the hit singles Steal My Girl and Night Changes, also topped the charts internationally in markets from Argentina to the UK.

Third place was claimed by singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who released his second studio album x in June 2014 and which topped the chart in 12 countries and reached the top five in a further 11 markets. The album contained the hit singles Sing, Don’t and Thinking Out Loud. Streaming service Spotify announced that x was its most streamed album in the world in 2014.

Top 10 global recording artists 2014

1 Taylor Swift
2 One Direction
3 Ed Sheeran
4 Coldplay
6 Michael Jackson
7 Pink Floyd
8 Sam Smith
9 Katy Perry
10 Beyoncé

(Source: IFPI. See note to editors below)

Another huge success in 2014 was the phenomenal sales of the soundtrack album Frozen. If the album had been recorded by a single artist, it would have topped the chart, but as the chart is compiled based on artist releases, it was ineligible for inclusion.

IFPI published its annual global recording artists chart today to accurately capture the popularity of artists across streaming channels, alongside digital and physical album and singles sales.

The independently verified chart includes sales of albums – across digital, CD and vinyl formats; singles, both downloaded and physical; on-demand audio streams and music videos. The chart includes all the music of each artist featured, not just one track or album. It uses track and album equivalents to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams.

Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, says: “Congratulations to Taylor Swift who has been named the IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2014. She merits this result as she is a hardworking and talented performer who has an amazing ability to connect with audiences worldwide. This IFPI award reflects the global popularity of recording artists across the diverse ways in which fans choose to listen to music today.”

For further information contact:

Adrian Strain or Alex Jacob, IFPI London
Email: adrian.strain@ifpi.org / alex.jacob@ifpi.org

Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7935 (Press Office)

Notes to editors:

The compilation of the IFPI top artist chart has been independently verified through certain agreed procedures by BDO LLP. BDO LLP has verified that IFPI has compiled the chart correctly in line with the outlined procedures. The certain agreed upon procedures carried out by BDO did not constitute an audit or review.

About Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is a global superstar, seven-time GRAMMY winner and the youngest winner in history of the music industry's highest honour, the GRAMMY Award for Album of the Year. She is the only artist in music history to have three albums (2010's Speak Now, 2012's RED, 2014's 1989) hit the 1 million plus first-week sales figure, and the first artist since The Beatles (and the only female artist in history) to log six or more weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. with three consecutive studio albums. Taylor has career record sales in excess of 40 million albums and 130 million song downloads and is one of the top 5 selling digital music artists worldwide. She has an album on Rolling Stone's prestigious The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time (by women) list, Time magazine has named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world, and she is Billboard's youngest-ever Woman of the Year and the only artist to have been awarded this honour twice.

Taylor’s critically acclaimed fifth studio album 1989 topped iTunes sales charts in over 95 countries on its release and has sold over 8.6 million albums worldwide to date. It was the highest selling release since 2002 and the top selling album of 2014 in the US, where it has now spent 11 weeks at no. 1 on the Billboard 100 chart.