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Posted: January 04, 2018

Ed Sheeran helps music industry hit a high note in 2017

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2017, file photo, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performs at Z100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden, in New York. Sheeran’s album “Divide” was the most popular album of 2017, helping the music industry enjoy a growth spurt during the year, according to Nielsen Music. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2017, file photo, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performs at Z100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden, in New York. Sheeran’s album “Divide” was the most popular album of 2017, helping the music industry enjoy a growth spurt during the year, according to Nielsen Music. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

AP Entertainment Writer

NEW YORK —

Ed Sheeran's album "Divide" was the most popular album of 2017, helping the music industry enjoy a growth spurt during the year, according to Nielsen Music.

Sheeran's blockbuster album sold 2.764 million equivalent album units, which takes into account traditional album sales, downloads and streaming tracks. Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN." was next and Taylor Swift's "Reputation" was in No. 3.

In terms of only album sales, Swift's "Reputation" was No. 1, with 1.9 million in sales; Sheeran's "Divide" was No. 2 with 1.1 million in sales and Lamar's "DAMN." was No. 3 with 910,000 in sales.

Nielsen Music reports overall consumption of albums and songs grew 12.5 percent over 2016. A 59 percent increase in on-demand audio streams offset declines in track and album sales.

Vinyl album sales increased for the 12th consecutive year to reach a record 14.3M units. The biggest song of the year, in terms of total activity was the version of "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber.


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