The year’s biggest-selling single to date, Pharrell Williams’ Happy, has now also been certified 3x platinum.
Happy first went on sale as the lead single from the soundtrack to Despicable Me 2, and has now sold just over 1.8m copies since its release in June 2013.
The song went to No.1 in the Official Charts in the final week of 2013, and has gone on to spend a further three weeks in the top spot on separate occasions in 2014. It has not been out of the Top 20 all year. Happy now ranks at No.4 in the Official Charts Top 5 biggest-selling singles of the millennium.
The vast majority of the song’s sales to date – 86.1% – have come in the shape of digital downloads (over 1.5m), while it has also been streamed over 25m times, which works out as the equivalent of a quarter of a million ‘sales’ when measured by the Official Charts’ 100 – 1 conversation rate for streaming – or 13.8% of the total.
Colin Barlow, MD, RCA Label Group UK, said: “Pharrell is one of the most innovative producers, writers, and performers to emerge from the world of music in the last 20 years. We’re proud to be able to count him amongst such a creative, talented and credible roster of artists at RCA here.”
The BPI’s Gennaro Castaldo commented: “Every now and then a song comes along that captures the public mood and becomes a feelgood anthem for a generation. Happy is not only one of the most successful multi-platinum recordings of all time, it has taken on near-iconic status and has helped to propel Pharrell to global superstardom.”
The last single to be awarded 3x platinum status was Aqua’s Barbie Girl back in July 2013. Only two other singles have gone 3x Platinum in the post-1994 Official Charts Company era: Will Young’s Anything Is Possible/Evergreen in 2002 and Elton John’s Candle In The Wind 1997/Something About The Way You Look Tonight in 1997, which remains the best-selling single of all time and is certified 9x platinum.
The BPI incorporated streaming data into its certified awards for singles earlier this month, and in recent days and weeks has awarded a number of other high profile certifications. Clean Bandit, who, with Jess Glynne on vocals, have seen their acclaimed single Rather Be achieve 2x platinum status since its release in January. The single sold 163,000 copies in its first week, making it the biggest week one seller of any track this year. February saw it become the first song in UK charts history to be streamed more than 1.5m times in a week (1.543m).
Other recent landmark certifications include Eminem’s The Real Slim Shady, which has just gone platinum; Amy Winehouse’s Rehab and Ed Sheeran’s Sing – both of which are now gold; and Neil Diamond’s classic Sweet Caroline and Coldplay’s more recent hit A Sky Full of Stars – both of which have achieved silver status. Eminem has also achieved a rare distinction on the albums front – his era-defining The Marshall Mathers LP has just turned 8x platinum – equivalent to 2.4m units sold in the UK since its release in 2000.