British album sales soar in the US

Viva La Vida shifted plenty of units.
Viva La Vida shifted plenty of units.

Research by the BPI has indicated that one in ten albums sold in the USA in 2008 was by a British act. This means that the market share for UK artists has grown for the fourth consecutive year, and is up from 8.5% in 2007.

This represents a significant achievement for British musicians, as America is a notoriously hard commercial nut to crack. Coldplay's Viva La Vida was the biggest selling UK album there last year, followed by AC/DC's Black Ice (the band qualify because they have dual nationality).

Other UK artists to achieve significant stateside success include Leona Lewis, Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Radiohead. Notably, Robert Plant was the only solo performer to make an impact - and his album, Raising Sand, was a collaboration with Alison Krauss.

The top 10 UK albums in the US in 2008 were as follows:

1. Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
2. AC/DC - Black Ice
3. Leona Lewis - Spirit
4. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
5. Duffy - Rockferry
6. Radiohead - In Rainbows
7. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
8. Natasha Bedingfield - Pocketful Of Sunshine
9. Led Zeppelin - Mothership
10. AC/DC - Back In Black

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.