Thought pop was music made for teenagers, by teenagers? Not anymore: the average age of the ten best-selling recorded music artists of 2014 was 38-years-old. They included young whippersnappers such as Pink Floyd, AC/DC and Michael Jackson.
At a tender 25-years-old, all-conquering Taylor Swift was the world’s No.1 commercial artist of 2014, according to the IFPI Global Recording Artist Chart for last year. The rankings were determined by a weighted combination of album and single-track consumption across physical, digital and streaming formats.
As such, Swift has been named the IFPI’s Global Recording Artist of 2014, receiving the annual award from the organisation’s CEO Frances Moore (pictured). Released in October, the artist’s record-breaking fifth studio album, 1989, sold more than 1.2m copies in its first week alone.
She was followed in No.2 by One Direction, signed to Syco/Sony Music, who released their fourth studio album FOUR in November. It secured them the historic achievement of being the first band to have all their first four studio albums debut at the top of the US charts.
Elsewhere in the IFPI Chart, though, there were a few slightly less youthful faces.
Coldplay, with an average age of 37, were the fourth biggest-selling act of 2014 while AC/DC, with an average age of 60, were at No.5. The Aussie rockers released their 16th studio album, Rock Or Bust in 2014, which topped the charts in Australia, Germany, Sweden and Canada.
Below them at No.6 was the sadly departed Michael Jackson, who would have been 56 last year, and Pink Floyd – whose current average age stands at 70 – were at No.7. The seminal UK group issued their 15th and final ‘studio’ album The Endless River in November; the most pre-ordered album of all time on Amazon in the UK.
Those keeping up the contribution for the youngsters on the IFPI Chart included a trio of Brits: One Direction (average age: 22) at No.2, Ed Sheeran (24) at No.3 and Sam Smith (22), the youngest solo star on the list, at No.8. Rounding off the Top 10 were Katy Perry (30) and Beyonce (33).
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.”
THE IFPI GLOBAL RECORDING ARTIST CHART 2014
- Taylor Swift
- One Direction
- Ed Sheeran
- Michael Jackson
- Pink Floyd
- Sam Smith
- Katy Perry