Until today, we thought Drake’s Views was the best-selling album of 2016, but new music industry figures suggest otherwise.
According to the IFPI’s annual report, both Beyonce’s Lemonade and Adele’s 25 shifted more copies worldwide.
Beyonce topped the chart with 2.4 million sales, while Drake came third, having sold 2.1 million units.
The figures only include CDs, vinyl and downloads – which may explain Drake’s sudden change in fortunes.
Once streaming is counted, he emerges as the most popular artist of 2016; with his inescapable single One Dance the year’s most popular song.
The explosion in streaming services also helped the music industry grow in value for the second year in a row, with revenue up by 5.9% to $15.7bn (£12.35bn).
That’s the fastest rate of growth since the IFPI began tracking the market in 1997; and comes after 15 years of downturn, during which time the music industry lost nearly 40% of its revenue.
“We are no longer running up a down escalator,” observed Warner Music CEO Stu Bergen.
Subscription streaming services are largely responsible for the turnaround. Revenue from Spotify, Apple Music and their competitors rose by 60% last year.