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Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS



2020 IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award. In the past 8 years the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award has been given to Ed Sheeran, Adele, One Direction, and Taylor Swift and Drake. BTS are backed up by ARMY, their huge fanbase.

The power of ARMY. The IFPI represents the recorded music industry worldwide. It’s not a Grammy or a popularity vote. The award is calculated according to an artist’s or group’s worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the past year. Everything from streams to vinyl, CDs and downloads…. and covers their entire body of work. The award was announced last week at the culmination of the IFPI Global Artist Chart, which counted down the top 10 best-selling artists of the past year.

And it’s certainly been a great year for music… not so much for going to live concerts but we’ve certainly had a lot more time to listen to our favourite artists and stream their clips on YouTube.

The group that won this year, based on their pure sales, actually came second in 2018 and 7th in 2019, so it isn’t some statistical blip on the music radar.

The win also represents somewhat of a quantum shift in world music… the sort of thing that only happens once in a generation. Rather than the popular cross-over style shift represented by the George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1924, the brith of rock with Bill Haley in 1955 or the rise of British pop in the 1960s, personified by The Beatles, this year’s IFPI signals another generational milestone in tastes, method, world reach and engagement with fans.

In all the right-hand turns of the popular music genre, there has usually been a technological breakthrough that has accompanied them, or at least been a key aspect of their success.

In the case of the the Great American Songbook, the foundations of the pop music genre, it was the recorded record and the start of radio-as-entertainment in the 1920s that provided a method to reach a huge audience with the new sounds and tunes for the first time.

Then it was the 7” single that made music cheaper and easier to play, that revolutionised the radio music formats of the 1960s and provided the perfect vehicle of the British pop revolution to spread around the world.


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  1. Mister Stretch

    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Did you run out of things to copy? You finished with 7″ singles.

    Before that were 78rpm records, 33 1/3 rpm records, then the 7inchers, followed by 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, MP3s and MP4s, along with video discs, internet videos…

    Poorly edited. Embarrassing even.

  2. John_2

    Monday, March 8, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    K-Pop success is due largely to the very high standards of video production. Listen to the music without the video and it usually falls flat.
    The stars or assets are very tightly managed by their companies which does lead to outstanding results in terms of the performances and brand image.
    The music producers/ writers of the different songs are often from around the world, a beat bought here, an instrumental from there, vocals done in Korea and often produced in London or LA.

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