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Thursday, May 18th, 2017 4:13pm

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David Bowie has been unveiled as the UK’s most popular recording artist of 2016 fending off pop acts like Adele to take the title.

More of the late legend’s albums were bought on CD, vinyl, downloaded and listened to on streaming services in the UK than any other artist last year.

In the wake of his death in January 2016, Bowie’s sales and streaming figures soared as fans imbibed his distinguished back catalogue and his 25th and final album ‘Blackstar’. Record Store Day activity and the Lazarus musical soundtrack also gave Bowie a further boost.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) revealed the news in its 38th annual All About the Music 2017 yearbook.

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It said that 1.6million album equivalent units of Bowie’s music were consumed dwarfing the ubiquitous Adele’s 1.2million tally and the 1million notched up by Canadian hip-hop singer Drake.   

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “This is an exciting time for British music as more fans enjoy today’s new artists and also explore the infinite jukebox available on streaming services.

"The UK punches above its weight as the world’s third largest market, responsible for one in eight albums sold globally, including four of 2016’s Top 10, and is the second-largest digital and streaming market after the US."

Commenting on the UK’s exit from EU, Taylor added:  "Our business will only reach its full potential if government makes the creative sector a high priority in trade negotiations and offers the same kind of support to investment into music, such as through tax credits, as it has to the film and games industries."