The official CEO of the Company Charts on Adele, Ed Sheeran and more


The last time any British actors (in leading roles) ran the lists simultaneously? For two weeks in March-April 2017, Sheeran doubled down with “Shape of You” and (To divide). Prior to that, Adele won the honor, for six weeks in December 2015-January 2016, thanks to “Hello” and 25.

As for the various English artists (again, in the lead roles) topping the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 together, Adele and Sheeran are this week the first such duo in … over 32 years, since “If You Don’t Know Me” by Simply Red by Now “has punctuated the Hot 100 and Fine Young Cannibals’ Raw and cooked crowned the Hot 100.

Among the main soloists, Adele and Sheeran are the first British groups to lead both lists simultaneously since June 18, 1988, when Rick Astley’s “Together Forever” topped the Hot 100 and that of George Michael. Faith ruled the Billboard 200. (Adele was just over a month old at the time, being born May 5, 1988. Sheeran was born February 17, 1991.)

Adele and Sheeran aren’t the only British stars to have made it onto the charts. Glass Animals completes a record-breaking 42 week Hot 100 Top 10 run with “Heat Waves”, while Elton John and Dua Lipa lead Hot Dance / Electronic Songs for a fourth week with “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)”.

Five weeks earlier, Coldplay had climbed to the top of the Hot 100 with his BTS “My Universe” team. Additionally, The Beatles recently returned to the top five on the Billboard 200 with their 1970 album. So be it and the Rolling Stones revisited the top 25 with the years 1981 Tattoo yourself, both thanks to the reissues.

Historically, of course, British acts have long conquered Billboard charts, with the Beatles holding the records for most # 1 Hot 100 and Billboard 200 (20 and 19, respectively) and the Rolling Stones with the most top 10 Billboard 200 (37).

After the two groups ‘transformational tours began in the 1960s, a “‘ second British invasion” in the first half of the 1980s deeply entrenched Culture Club, Eurythmics and the Human League in American consciousness, “Paul wrote. Sexton in Billboard in 2008 (on the 50th anniversary of the Hot 100). He added that “a period of fallow then ensued” and that “in the 21st century a Hot 100 released without a single British artist has become a reality on more than one occasion, reflecting the shift in radio American to R&B and hip-hop. “

Over the past decade, British artists have re-established a notable presence in the United States, as One Direction, Mumford & Sons, Adele, Sheeran and others have made their mark.

Now Adele, Sheeran and other artists represent the latest chapter in British chart success in the United States.

Billboard contacted Martin Talbot, Official card company CEO, for his thoughts on the history of the country’s rise to the US charts, how current consumption affects both new acts and catalogs and why the current crop of British stars has reached such heights.

Do you see any commonalities between successful British music in the United States historically? Or do you think there has been a more diverse mix, from pop and rock to dance and (to a lesser extent) hip-hop and other styles?

The beauty of British music over the years is that it has covered so many genres. The multicultural nature of our society, with immigration from so many parts of the world including the Caribbean, the Far East, northern, eastern and southern Europe, Africa and even Ireland has always contributed to the great richness of our culture and our music.

As a result, we did not export music in a narrow range of genres, but many different flavors.

Is it still seen as a coveted move for a British act to break into the United States? Maybe it’s a little different in an online world where so many acts cross many territories and through various platforms available around the world?

Breaking into the United States is more important and coveted than ever, partly for traditional reasons, of course: because the United States is the birthplace of blues and, secondly, rock n ‘roll, and so many heroes of the Music fans and creators hail from the rich American musical culture.

Additionally, the international nature of music consumption today, driven by international music platforms such as Amazon, Apple, Spotify, YouTube and promotional social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, etc. , means that it is a much more competitive market. international market for musicians. In this environment, it is more difficult than ever to make an impact in the global market, and especially in the United States, where so many of these platforms have emerged.

Do you think British music is becoming more diverse? Coldplay joining BTS on “My Universe” is obviously one notable example, among others.

I’m sure British artists are, as are a lot of other artists from other markets. The increasingly international nature of the music market and the increased availability of music for music lovers and creators, with tens of millions of tracks instantly available, to music fans around the world, means the opportunity cross-pollination of musical influences and ideas is greater than ever.

The development of new technologies that bring creators together across borders, thousands of miles apart, means that artists don’t even have to be in the same country, let alone be in the same country. the same room, to share ideas and collaborate. I dare say that the COVID crisis and the blockages that have occurred internally can only have fueled and accelerated this process.

Catalog music works so well in the streaming age, as a young fan new to music is one click away from delving into The Beatles and other legendary bands. Does that seem to ensure that some of the most popular British music of all time is essentially sure to appeal to future generations?

Potentially, yes. When I was young, I met David Bowie long after his creative heyday of the 70s … and I only discovered Ziggy stardust because it was the only album available in the only record store in the small town where I grew up. Today, young music fans have its entire catalog at their fingertips.

The challenge here is to protect the opportunities for new music. The recorded music output of a new rock band today competes with every major rock band in history: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC / DC, the lot. It’s a huge challenge for new artists of all kinds.

Adele has broken many records in the United States. What do you think is the key to its appeal? Likewise, what prompted Ed Sheeran to reach such heights?

Adele and Ed Sheeran are alike in many ways. Both are very, very rare artists, whose appeal crosses generations, who are as comfortable creating catchy tunes as ballads and who have retained their credibility and sympathy despite enormous success. They are both extremely grounded, and present themselves that way, and seem to remain continually grateful for their success. There is little, if any, sense of arrogance on either side. And it resonates with fans of all ages.

Ed, for example, continues to be deeply rooted in the small Suffolk village where he grew up. He donates his castaway clothes to local charity shops, supports the local community and even sponsors his local football club, Ipswich Town. None of this seems to be forced or for some reason other than because he wants to.


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