George Michael demand soars following heartfelt BRITS tribute

 

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Last week’s BRIT Awards 2017, the 37th annual edition to be held, celebrated another successful 12 months in British and international music, showcasing it to a world-wide audience.

The show on 22nd February, broadcast live on ITV and streamed globally on YouTube, saw significant increases in sales of CD, vinyl and downloads and on audio streams of the music by the featured artists, reports UK record labels’ association the BPI, which owns and stages the annual event.

Official Charts data for the seven-day period ending Tuesday 28th February points to a rise in demand for George Michael’s classic recordings following the heartfelt tribute from fellow Wham! members Andrew Ridgeley, Pepsi DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman, and a moving performance by Coldplay’s Chris Martin of A Different Corner. The song, first released in April 1986 to give George his second solo No.1 single, saw a rise of more than 500 per cent in downloads and audio streams in the week following the BRITs. George’s definitive ‘Best Of’ compilation Ladies & Gentlemen also benefitted – up 83 per cent across purchases on CD, vinyl and downloads and via audio streams, helping it to climb up to No.8 in this week’s Official Albums Chart. George’s albums Faith (+13%), Older (61%) Symphonica (+81) and Twenty Five (+70%) additionally saw lifts in demand.

Commenting on the success of the BRITs, Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said:

“The BRITs with Mastercard are a massive showcase for UK and international talent, using digital and social media channels to great effect alongside the live ITV broadcast to promote the reach and profile of British music at home and around the world. In the process they also deliver a significant commercial benefit to artists and labels, boosting consumption of their music, whether on CD, vinyl and download or via streaming.

“It’s no surprise there’s been a marked rise in demand for George Michael’s music. The heart-felt tribute from his fellow Wham! band members and Chris Martin’s wonderfully touching performance of ‘A Different Corner’ reminded us just how brilliantly crafted his classic songs are. We’re pleased that the other BRITs performers also saw significant boost in sales.”

BRITs acts to witness a significant bounce in sales and streams include:

• British Group winners The 1975, whose album I Like It When You Sleep For You Are Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It has seen a 141 per cent lift in sales/audio streams, while downloads/audio streams of the single they performed on the night, The Sound, more than doubled (+152%).

• British Female Solo Artist winner Emeli Sandé’s album Long Live The Angels saw demand rise 116 per cent, and her single Hurts was up 120 per cent across downloads/audio streams.

• Robbie Williams, the most successful artist in the Awards’ history with 18 BRITs and a BRITs Icon to his name, brought the show to its finale. His 2016 album The Heavy Entertainment Show saw a 50 per cent rise in sales/audio streams, while his recent single Love My Life nearly doubled in downloads/audio streams (+92%).

• British Single winners Little Mix, who opened the show to such dramatic effect, saw sales/audio streams of the track they performed, Shout Out To My Ex, rise by a quarter (25.1%), and they also saw sales/audio streams of their albums Glory Days (+10%) and Get Weird (+7%) up by around a tenth.

• Ed Sheeran was not up for any awards on the night, with his third studio album ÷ ‘Divide’ out this weekend, but his performance with Stormzy of his current smash No.1 Shape of You, which was released as a remix following the BRITs, helped demand for the download/audio stream grow a further 61 per cent.

• Chainsmokers & Coldplay premiered their new single Something Just Like This ahead of its Friday release. The performance, along with Chris Martin’s touching interpretation of George Michael’s A Different Corner helped sales/audio streams of Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams rise 16 per cent.

• UK grime was well represented at the Awards this year, and Skepta’s performance of his seminal Shutdown from his Mercury Prize winning LP Konnichiwa helped the album rise 77 per cent in sales/audio streams, matched by a similar pick up for the track itself – up 81 per cent. Fellow British Breakthrough nominee Stormzy released his much anticipated debut album Gangs Signs & Prayer the Friday (24 Feb) after the show, and his headline-winning duet with Ed Sheeran on the night may well have contributed to its No.1 success – arguably the first grime album to top the Official Charts.

• The posthumous BRIT Awards for British Male Solo Artist and Mastercard British Album of the Year, the latter collected by his son Duncan Jones, helped sales/audio streams of David Bowie’s acclaimed Blackstar rise by a further 71 per cent.

• The international acts who performed at the BRITs also appeared to benefit from exposure on the show. Bruno Mars performed That’s What I Like and saw a 163 per cent rise in downloads/audio streams, while his album 24k Magic enjoyed a 67 per cent jump. Katy Perry performed her current single ft. Skip Marley, Chained to the Rhythm, which saw a 61 per cent increase in downloads/audio streams.

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