American hip-hop troupe the Black Eyed Peas are set to pass a UK recording industry milestone this week by becoming the first band to sell one million copies of a single purely on the strength of downloads.
"I Got a Feeling", the feelgood dance track from the band's fifth studio album, will have sold one million copies online "by the end of the week", according to the Official Charts Company.
It was not enough to land the group the official number one spot last night in this week's Top Ten charts. That honour went to Dizzie Rascal and James Corden's World Cup tribute "Shout for England". Charts are measured on digital and hard single sales for the week, not overall sales.
If digital and hard sales are taken into account "I Got a Feeling", released last spring, surpassed the million-selling mark earlier in the month. But this is the first time a track has reached the one million mark on download sales alone in Britain.
The track joins a select group of just 10 singles that have sold more than a million copies in the UK – hard and digital – since 2000.
In the US the same milestone was passed more than five years ago when Gwen Stefani became the first artist to sell one million downloads of a single record with "Hollaback Girl".
Following his death last year, Michael Jackson became the first artist to sell one million download-only singles in a week. More than 2.6 million individual tracks were sold in the seven days after his death in the States.
The Official Charts Company expects the one million download mark to be regularly beaten over the course of this year and beyond. Matin Talbot, the chart compiler's managing director, said: "[The Black Eyed Peas'] landmark represents a coming of age for digital downloading, six years after music downloading moved into the UK mainstream ... and underlines the enduring, and growing, popularity of legitimate digital music today."
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