It looks as if One Direction are now officially Britain’s biggest pop act, after the boy band were named 2013’s best selling artist. The band’s success was topped off in November when their third album, Midnight Memories, became the year’s biggest selling album worldwide.

One Direction at the Brit AwardsBest band ever? One Direction top global album chart

Despite only being released in November, Midnight Memories managed to shift a massive four million copies in only six weeks. The album’s success pushed Eminem’s comeback album The Marshall Mathers LP 2 into second place, while Justin Timberlake had to be content with coming in third.

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But it’s not just One Direction flying the flag for British music. Research from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) showed that one in every eight albums sold around the world was by a British artist. Around a quarter of the top 40 best-selling albums were by British artists with Robbie Williams, David Bowie and Mumford and Sons all featuring among the best sellers.

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Of course any list of best selling British artists wouldn’t be complete without Adele whose 2011 album 21 is still contributing to Britain’s global success.

adeleSo who doesn't own a copy of 21 yet?

BPI spokesman Gennaro Castaldo commented on the figures saying they represented “a phenomenal achievement that says a great deal about the popularity of British music around the world." However as popular as British acts are overseas they’re also still the first choice for record buyers at home. Last year, the British public opted to buy homegrown artists 51.9% of the time, with the US falling far behind at 33.8%.