British music industry is in turmoil, with this week's No1 album on course to be lowest selling chart topper in history
THE past year has been a struggle for everyone, not least musicians.
But with superstars having been reluctant to put out records, for fear they can’t promote them, today I’m issuing a rallying call to get music’s biggest names to reignite the business.
This week’s No1 album is set to be one of the lowest-selling ever, with Mogwai’s As The Love Continues expected to top the chart with sales of just 7,379.
Two decades ago, sales would often top 100,000.
Meanwhile last week’s No1, Slow-Thai’s Tyron, has tumbled to No22, behind greatest hits records from Sir Elton John and Fleetwood Mac.
Chart figures are based on sales from physical formats including vinyl and CD, plus downloads and streams.
This week’s Top 40 albums combined have sold just 11 per cent of what Adele’s last album, 25, managed during just its first week in 2015.
Even new artists like Celeste — winner of the Rising Star award at last year’s Brits, who had millions put behind her debut album Not Your Muse — have achieved underwhelming sales.
It’s a sad state of affairs but, with the UK now gearing up to reopen, it is time for our favourite artists to start getting their music out there and lift this once-thriving industry up off the ground.
New albums from the likes of Adele, Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, Beyonce and Rihanna are long overdue and many believe these stars have put releases on hold to avoid having to do award-show performances on a computer screen, and chat-show interviews over Zoom.
And I don’t blame them.
After such a turbulent time, it’s clear the nation is turning to old favourites.
Among the current Top 40 albums, there are currently no less than eight greatest hits compilations, from acts including Oasis and Whitney Houston.
But with that in mind, we need the people we’re now more familiar with, our modern-day superstars, to lead by example and get back out there with exciting new music.
There are glimmers of hope, with the Grammy Awards going ahead on March 14 and the Brit Awards on May 11 — occasions for which many big artists choose to launch new music.
The chance to perform live again is also on the horizon, with Reading and Leeds Festival yesterday insisting it will go ahead on the August Bank Holiday weekend, and tours also being locked in for the autumn.
The only hope for the music business is that major acts return as soon as they possibly can.
Otherwise we face the dire prospect of venues closing and labels never being able to invest in new artists.
Apart from anything else, I am sick of listening to the same songs again and again, on repeat.
If there was ever time for superstars to shine a light, and power forward to inspire the nation, it is now.
Cardi's bright in shining armour
CARDI B’s armour is missing its breastplate – as she drops her guard for a new interview.
The US rapper struck the pose for Interview magazine, as she told how her previous job as a stripper, from 18, taught her to love her body.
She said: “When I started stripping, I was making probably $500 a night. As I got bigger, I was making $2,000, maybe $5,000.
"When I got really popular on Instagram, I was making $7,000 to $10,000 a week. I felt on top of the world. I felt so untouchable and so sexy.
“I had a manager, and every time we would be in the car driving to bookings, I used to remix songs.
“He was like, ‘I produced some songs before for Lil’ Kim. Why don’t you try doing music? You need to think bigger.’ And that’s what we did.”
But all that was a world away from her cosseted childhood, which she rebelled against.
She added: “My mum wanted to keep me really childlike. She wanted me to listen to Barney and Disney music, so I was only interested in Barney and Disney.
“We used to go to my grandmother’s house, where they would always play Bet.
“When I saw Missy Elliott take off her head in a music video, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to do that when I grow up’.”
I guess that explains it all, then.
Dan's McFly swat
DANNY Dyer has already bad-mouthed Olly Murs and Mark Wright – but now he’s taken aim at nice guys McFly.
The EastEnders actor said their music “hurts my ears” while insisting he doesn’t want to start a spat.
On his agony aunt podcast Sorted With The Dyers, he advised a listener to move out of his home after they said their housemate cooked dodgy meals and listened to the 5 Colours In Her Hair singers.
Danny, who suggested their music is “for four year olds”, said: “The idea of anyone in my vicinity playing McFly is enough for me.
“Listen, I don’t want to start no spat or no beef, but let’s have it right – we can only speak honestly. It hurts my ears.
“You’ve got to move out. It’s not the food thing, it’s the McFly thing.”
He was on The Jonathan Ross Show with the band in 2019.
Ending up on the same sofa again with them any time soon could make for some very awkward conversation.
TIKTOK sensation Sam Ryder has released debut single Whirlwind.
It comes after his covers on the video-sharing app went viral and made him its most popular artist in the UK.
Sam, who has been signed to Parlophone Records, now has seven million followers – with his videos racking up more than 53million likes, including ones from Justin Bieber and Sia.
End of the road for Sacha
HE had box office hits with Borat and Bruno.
But now Sacha Baron Cohen has reached the end of the road when it comes to wearing a disguise in his movies – because he fears he may not survive making another one.
Following the release of the sequel Borat Subsequent Moviefilm last year, the actor has said: “For Borat, there were a couple of times I had to put on a bulletproof vest to go and shoot a scene, and you don’t want to do that too many times in your life.
“I was pretty lucky to get out this time, so no, I’m not doing it again. I’m going to stay with the scripted stuff.”
He admitted he would have sleepless nights before shooting certain scenes, such as one where he attended a far-right anti-lockdown rally in the US.
He said: “The night before something like that rally, you’re trying to go through everything that can go wrong.
“In a normal scene like what we’re doing, we’re trying to make sure, ‘How do I make sure my performance is real? Have I done my research? How do I make sure the accent’s perfect?’
“In this one you’re going, ‘OK, if a bunch of guys with guns come from that side of the stage, have I got a way to get out? What happens if someone shoots me?’”
I don’t blame Sacha for wanting to give that a swerve.
Lizzo is into bit of Rege
LIZZO has eyes for only one man after watching Bridgerton – Duke of Hastings actor Rege-Jean Page.
During a late-night Instagram Live following Rege-Jean’s hosting stint on US show Saturday Night Live, US singer Lizzo said: “The Duke, let me tell you – shout out to him for hosting SNL, but he can host this c*****e.
“Just for one night, I’m not looking for love. “I’m really not, because I’ve had a lot of love, it’s a lot.
“Love is heavy and love is cumbersome. I just want, you know – slide in and slide out.
“And I’m very picky, so for me to like just you, you can have it.”
The Truth Hurts singer then went on to talk about her sexuality and how she once fell for a woman in a club, but is yet to have sex with someone of the same gender.
The single star explained: “I met a lesbian in Atlanta and she grabbed my p***y through my clothes and it was one of those nights where I was like, ‘I’m so drunk’.
“I was like, ‘I’ve never had sex with a woman but if she wanted to go f*** right now . . .’”
Liam’s rock star dreams
LIAM Payne had big dreams of being a rock star before joining One Direction.
On the FIFA Sound PlayOn podcast, he said: “When I was growing up, I wanted to be an archaeologist at one point because I thought it was going to be a bit like Indiana Jones.
“But it’s probably not like that every day, is it? Like, using a toothbrush to dig up old bones.”
Probably not, no.
THINGS are looking up for Jesy Nelson after she returned to work for the first time since quitting Little Mix.
She was in the studio last week to work on solo music and yesterday shared this photo, pulling her best pout.
As well as the prospect of getting back out there with her own music, I imagine she was thrilled about the news of lockdown restrictions easing this week – particularly as she will be celebrating her 30th this summer.
It's paper mac writer
SIR Paul McCartney has announced his first autobiography, which will tell the music legend’s story through the words to his songs, photographs and some new passages.
Speaking about his book, called The Lyrics, The Beatles superstar said: “Some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past.
“But I have no such notebooks.
“What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose.
“And these songs span my entire life.”
The book is out on November 2.
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