Artist News Awards Business News Labels & Publishers

Japanese boyband Arashi top IFPI 2019 global album chart

By | Published on Friday 20 March 2020


Global record label trade body the IFPI has announced 2019’s biggest selling albums. And topping a list that also features The Beatles, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish, BTS, Taylor Swift and more, the winner is… Japanese boy band Arashi with their best of compilation, ‘5×20 All The BEST!! 1999-2019’.

Released in June last year, the compilation marks the 20th anniversary of the popular five-piece, ahead of a planned hiatus in 2021. Despite only gaining significant chart positions in Japan (number one) and South Korea (number fifteen), the record sold 3.3 million copies – pushing Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ (which went to number one in nineteen countries, including Japan) into second position on the global chart, with 3.2 million sales.

It’s important to note that this particular chart doesn’t include any streaming stats – and therefore none of that trying to equate streams for album sales nonsense. As the IFPI notes, it’s top ten “includes physical and digital album unit sales only”. It’s a technicality that clearly helps one of the biggest acts in the one market where physical product is still dominant and therefore traditional album sales are still a big part of the business. But look at you using technicalities to rubbish Arashi’s global achievement.

“Arashi are an iconic Japanese band that have built a huge and very dedicated fanbase across Asia throughout their 20 year music career”, says IFPI boss Frances Moore. “We would like to congratulate the artists on winning this award which is testament to their incredibly strong catalogue and career longevity”.

Earlier this month the IFPI also published its top ten list of the best-selling global recording artists of 2019, which does mash together streaming with physical and download data. Taylor Swift topped that, while Arashi did not get a listing.

Here’s the full top ten best-selling albums of 2019, according to the IFPI (global physical and download sales figures in brackets):

1. Arashi – 5×20 All The BEST!! 1999-2019 (3.3 million)
2. Taylor Swift – Lover (3.2 million)
3. BTS – Map Of The Soul: Persona (2.5 million)
4. Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born OST (1.2 million)
5. Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (1.2 million)
6. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody OST (1.2 million)
7. Ed Sheeran – No 6 Collaborations Project (1.1 million)
8. Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next (1 million)
9. Rammstein – Rammstein (0.9 million)
10. The Beatles – Abbey Road (0.8 million)