Dame Vera Lynn leads list of this year's top-selling female artists

Singer who was ‘forces’ sweetheart’ has highest-selling album released by woman in 2017, the year of her 100th birthday

Dame Vera Lynn, the wartime singer who celebrated her 100th birthday this year, has sold more copies than any other album released by a female artist in the UK this year.

The “forces’ sweetheart” beat younger competitors including Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey and Zara Larsson to top the new list released by the Official Charts Company.

Dame Vera Lynn, pictured with troops in Burma, in 1942.
Dame Vera Lynn, pictured with troops in Burma in 1942, was beloved for her performances during the second world war. Photograph: Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock

Lynn’s latest album was only beaten in sales by Little Mix’s Glory Days and Adele’s 25, but those albums were released in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

Released in March, the album, named 100, went to number three in the charts, which makes Lynn the oldest living artist to score a top 10 album on the Official Album Charts.

The album is the 28th best seller of the year overall in the chart, which combines physical and download sales with the number of times it was streamed.

It features re-orchestrated versions of her best-known songs, cover versions by singers including Alfie Boe and Aled Jones and a previously unreleased recording of Lynn singing Sailing, the 1972 Sutherland Brothers song later made famous by Rod Stewart.

“It’s truly humbling that people still enjoy these songs from so many years ago, reliving the emotions of that time,” Lynn said earlier this year.

“I was after all just doing my job as a singer – and it’s so wonderful for me to hear my songs again so beautifully presented in a completely new way.”

It is yet to be seen whether Lynn can hold on to her title, with albums from the likes of Taylor Swift, Pink and Kelly Clarkson to be released later this year.

Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You is the biggest single of the year so far. The only other tracks to have also broken the 3m combined sales mark in history are Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? and Elton John’s Candle In The Wind.

Shape Of You is also the UK’s most streamed song of all time, and Sheeran continues to dominate, with his Divide album holding the title of the fastest-selling album of all time by a male artist.

More than 20 songs by British-born acts, including Sheeran, Rag‘n’Bone Man and London DJ Jax Jones, are in the top 40 singles of 2017 so far.

Contributor

Nadia Khomami

The GuardianTramp

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