On March 19, 2020, The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) which represents the worldwide recorded music industry has released the top 10 best selling albums worldwide. According to their site, the IFPI Global Top Ten Album Chart combines global sales of physical and digital album downloads to rank the top albums of the year. The chart includes physical and digital album unit sales only.
IFPI's official twitter account did a count down of the top 10.
There were a good deal of anticipation from fans of certain artists. Each predicting their own number 1's. However, very few actually predicted the top 1 in the list.
3. BTS - MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA – MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA The 6th EP from South Korean pop powerhouse BTS received critical acclaim for its confident, genre-spanning sound & was a worldwide hit, plus the 1st #1 for a Korean act in many global markets 2. Taylor Swift - Lover– Lover A very personal record, the 7th album from US pop sensation Taylor Swift is a celebration of love. Mixing bright, cheerful tones of pop, rock & country with honest lyrics and a summery aesthetic it was a critical & global success 1. Arashi - 5x20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019
The Japanese boy band beat out releases by esteemed artists like Taylor Swift, BTS, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and The Beatles. While it may seem to some like Arashi came out of nowhere to claim the top spot, they really didn’t, as they’ve been a phenomenally huge success in Japan for decades.
ARASHI – Satoshi Ohno, Sho Sakurai, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya, and Jun Matsumoto – formed in 1999 and released their first single A-RA-SHI in November that year. They went on to release multiple million-seller albums over the next two decades. In June 2019, they released their 20th anniversary compilation 5x20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019 and staged the ARASHI Anniversary Tour 5x20 across Japan last year. The band, who are national icons in Japan, announced in January 2019 that they would be going on hiatus from 2021.
Here’s the full top ten best-selling albums of 2019, according to the IFPI (global physical and download sales figures in brackets):
1. Arashi – 5×20 All The BEST!! 1999-2019 (3.3 million)
2. Taylor Swift – Lover (3.2 million)
3. BTS – Map Of The Soul: Persona (2.5 million)
4. Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born OST (1.2 million)
5. Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (1.2 million)
6. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody OST (1.2 million)
7. Ed Sheeran – No 6 Collaborations Project (1.1 million)
8. Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next (1 million)
9. Rammstein – Rammstein (0.9 million)