Controversy sells: Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines leads the pack in record year for singles sales

The Official Charts Company claims that 2013 will be the biggest year in history for singles sales in Britain

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The Independent Culture

The popularity of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" should help make 2013 the biggest year for singles sales in British history, according to the Official Charts Company.

Last year, increased singles downloads meant that 2012 was the best year for singles sales, with 188.6 million singles sold. Some 99.6 per cent of those sales came in the digital format.

But having compiled its figures for the third quarter of this year, the OCC is confident of beating that figure.

In the mid-2000s, singles sales slumped as buyers made the transition from physical CDs to downloads, but it's now rare for number one singles to reach the summit of the chart without selling in excess of 100,000 copies in just one week.

"Blurred Lines" is the top-selling single of the year so far, with 1.36m sold. "Get Lucky" follows with 1.24m, while Avicii's "Wake Me Up", currently on 980,000, should reach the million mark soon.

Pharrell Williams, who is featured on the top two singles, said: "I'm humbled by all of the love the UK fans have shown. But, when you are working with incredible talent like The Robots and Robin, great things are bound to happen!"

Potential hits including Lorde's "Royals" and Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball", both of which have topped the US singles chart (the Hot 100), should further bolster this year's figures.