Ed Sheeran helps music industry hit a high note in 2017

Ed Sheeran performs at Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America at the Shrine Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Ed Sheeran’s album “Divide” was the most popular album of 2017, helping the music industry enjoy a growth spurt during the year, according to Nielsen Music.

Sheeran’s blockbuster album sold 2.764 million equivalent album units, which takes into account traditional album sales, downloads and streaming tracks. Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” was next and Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” was in No. 3.

Nielsen Music reports overall consumption of albums and songs grew 12.5 percent over 2016. A 59 percent increase in on-demand audio streams offset declines in track and album sales.

Vinyl album sales increased for the 12th consecutive year to reach a record 14.3M units. The biggest song of the year, in terms of total activity, was the version of “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber.

 

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