Three Canadians rank in the top 10 global recording artists of 2020

Mar 24 2021, 6:41 am

A trio of Canadian artists helped the music industry grow by over seven percent in the past year.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has revealed that worldwide recorded music revenue grew by 7.4 percent year over year in 2020, with streaming accounted for 62 percent of the total.

According to IFPI’s breakdown, 2020 music revenue generated US $21.6 billion, the largest in the industry since 2002, despite the lack of in-person performances.

In terms of the top-performing artists, albums, and songs of 2020, three canucks ranked on the list of bestselling global recording artists: Drake, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber.


The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” topped IFPI’s digital-single charts with 2.72 billion streams.

The 31-year-old Torontonian was also the runner-up of global album sales, with After Hours ranking second behind South Korean boy band BTS.

Of the music industry’s US$21.6 billion revenue, US$13.4 billion was generated from streaming (an all-time high), with US$4.2 billion coming from the pandemic-shortened physical performances.


As a country, Canadian recorded music revenues grew by 8.1% in 2020 with streaming being the “key to growth” as revenues increased by 17.8%, says the IFPI.

Here’s how the best-selling albums and singles played out last year.

Best-selling albums of 2020:

  1. BTS, Map of the Soul: 7 
  2. The Weeknd, After Hours
  3. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep…
  4. BTS, Be
  5. Harry Styles, Fine Line
  6. Post Malone, Hollywood’s Bleeding
  7. Kenshi Yonezu, Stray Sheep
  8. Justin Bieber, Changes
  9. Taylor Swift, Folklore
  10. Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia 

Best-selling singles of 2020:

  1. The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights”
  2. Tones and I, “Dance Monkey”
  3. Roddy Ricch, “The Box”
  4. Saint Jhn, “Roses”
  5. Dua Lipa, “Don’t Start Now”
  6. Future ft. Drake, “Life Is Good”
  7. Xiao Zhan, “Made To Love”
  8. Da Baby ft. Roddy Ricch, “Rockstar”
  9. Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”
  10. BTS, “Dynamite”
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