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.


Nadia Khomami

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Dame Vera Lynn, singer and 'forces' sweetheart', dies aged 103
Much-loved entertainer, whose voice brought Britain together during the second world war, has died

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

18, Jun, 2020 @10:45 AM

Article image
Dame Vera Lynn obituary
Singer known as the ‘Forces Sweetheart’ whose recordings of We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover shaped the national mood in wartime Britain

Dave Laing

18, Jun, 2020 @10:11 AM

Article image
Vera Lynn: the best of the wartime spirit, not its continuation by other means | Stephen Moss
Despite the flag-waving that accompanied the ‘forces’ sweetheart’ at commemorative events, her songs encapsulate fellowship and battling through rather than jingoism

Stephen Moss

18, Jun, 2020 @2:10 PM

Article image
Still our sweetheart: Dame Vera Lynn tops charts

At the age of 92 the Forces' Sweetheart has done it again, hitting the No1 album spot

Angela Balakrishnan

13, Sep, 2009 @11:32 PM

Article image
Vera Lynn secretly ordered to sing at Queen’s 16th birthday
Previously unseen letter insists on strict secrecy over command performance for then-Princess Elizabeth

Harriet Sherwood Arts and culture correspondent

08, Nov, 2021 @12:01 AM

Article image
Dame Vera Lynn v Arctic Monkeys: the chart battle

The wartime warbler takes on four young rockers from Sheffield

Tom Meltzer

07, Sep, 2009 @11:05 PM

Article image
Sculpture of Dame Vera Lynn planned for cliffs of Dover
Family announce memorial for singer who died last year aged 103

Molly Blackall

20, Mar, 2021 @5:06 PM

Article image
Vinyl sales bigger than YouTube for British artists
Sales of vinyl records grow for eighth year in row, but labels attack ‘meagre’ payouts from advert-funded streaming websites

John Plunkett

19, May, 2016 @11:01 PM

Article image
Katherine Jenkins to perform VE Day concert at empty Royal Albert Hall
Singer will perform duet with Dame Vera Lynn in show being streamed on Friday

Caroline Davies

04, May, 2020 @1:55 PM

Article image
She’s turning 100, and there’s still never been a dame quite like Vera Lynn
The appeal of the girl from East Ham who became the forces’ sweetheart refuses to die

Michael Freedland

12, Mar, 2017 @12:04 AM