One Direction beat Eminem and Beyonce to claim best-selling album of 2013

Midnight Memories clocked up sales of four million in the space of six weeks

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The Independent Culture

Cynics will be shaking their heads today – because One Direction really are set to conquer the world.

The boy band, home-grown on the X Factor, scooped the biggest-selling album across the globe in 2013.

Despite shedding their good boy image, the five singers proved that they really do have the “Best Song Ever” with their third album accounting for one in every eight artist albums sold internationally.

Midnight Memories clocked up sales of four million in the space of six weeks, ensuring that British acts took home the trophy for the sixth year out of seven.

US rapper Eminem had to be content with second place, while Justin Timberlake came in at number three.  


New analysis by music industry trade body BPI for its 2014 yearbook showed UK acts took a 13 per cent share of global sales, excluding those for compilations.

The figure is down marginally - by 0.3 per cent - on the 2012 figure but showed Brits still proved to be hugely popular, accounting for a quarter of the top 40 best-selling albums internationally.

Among the strong performers were Robbie Williams for Swings Both Ways (the 18th biggest seller around the world) and David Bowie's comeback album The Next Day (at 35).

Adele's 21 and Babel by Mumford & Sons continued to clock up huge sales.

BPI spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: “For home-grown talent to have recorded the world's biggest-selling album six out of the last seven years is a phenomenal achievement that says a great deal about the popularity of British music around the world.

"Aside from the obvious contribution to British exports, this success underlines the vital role that our music and artists play in promoting the appeal of British culture around the world."

In May One Direction members Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson sparked controversy when they were filmed sharing what appeared to be a joint while on tour in South America.

And in January Liam Payne was forced to apologise to fans after he posted a picture of himself dangerously balanced on the roof ledge of a 34-floor building, sparking fears that he was set to jump off.

Global top selling albums of 2013

1. One Direction, Midnight Memories - 4 million

2.  Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP2 - 3.8 million

3. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience - 3.6 million

4. Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox - 3.2 million

5. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories - 3.2 million

6. Katy Perry, Prism - 2.8 million

7. Michael Bublé, To Be Loved - 2.4 million

8. Imagine Dragons, Night Visions - 2.4 million

9. Lady Gaga, Artpop - 2.3 million

10. Beyoncé, Beyoncé - 2.3 million

Additional reporting by Press Association