A new era of Girl Power!

Female artists account for record share of album sales in 2011!

A new generation of female artists including Adele, Jessie J, Rumer, Florence & The Machine, Katy Perry, Christina Perri, Birdy, Lykke Li and Lady Gaga, has taken the music industry by storm this year accounting for a record share of sales, according to exclusive new Official Charts Company data released by BPI today.

Female artists now account for one in three (33.3%) albums sold in the UK - the highest ever share in Official Albums Chart history, the new data reveals.

Year-to-date UK sales of albums by female artists have been boosted by home-grown British talent, including Adele, Birdy, Katherine Jenkins, Rumer and BRIT Awards Critics Choice winner, Jessie J. Together with international stars Rihanna, Katy Perry, Caro Emerald, Christina Perri, and Beyonce, they smash the previous 2009 record of 25.1% driven by Susan Boyle, Lady Gaga’s debut album, Lily Allen, Cheryl Cole and others. It also surpasses shares recorded in 1997, the heyday of the Spice Girls.

The release of the data comes as Florence & The Machine this week take the Number 1 spot in the Official Albums Chart. The album, ‘Ceremonials’, becomes another album by a female solo artist to sell more than 100,000 copies in 2011. In the period covered by the analysis, 21 albums have achieved this coveted Gold status. 

New releases from Susan Boyle, Cher Lloyd and Birdy are all expected to enter the Official Album Charts this weekend.  The Christmas release-schedule will also see titles released by Rihanna, Pixie Lott, Kate Bush, Emeli Sande, Lianne La Havas, The Saturdays, Parade and former X-Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson.

Titles by women account for 29 of the top 100 artist albums this year. And of all albums released by female solo artists this year, British female acts account for an impressive 58% of the market segment.

“2011 has seen the outstanding releases from British female artists across a range of musical genres,” said BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor. “The exceptional talent of female artists such Adele, Jessie J and Rumer strengthens the UK’s position as a leader on the international music stage.

“The success achieved by these young women demonstrates the positive opportunities music offers to young people from all backgrounds. It will inspire a future generation of female performers and shows that raw talent and hard work can take you to the very top."

But the incredible success of female solo artists alone (32.6% of sales) has not been replicated by all-female groups, whose share has fallen to just 0.7% of sales.  In the last 12 years, the collective share of female groups has only topped 3% on three occasions. In 2011 so far, only 10 of the top 1,000 albums are by female groups with The Pierces’ You & I by some margin the biggest seller.

Male groups’ share of the albums market has also suffered, dropping from 45% in 2005 to just over a third of sales in 2011 – its lowest point since 2000.

The Top 20 biggest selling albums of 2011 to date by female artists are as follows. Follow us on twitter 

01   21 Adele XL Recordings
02   19 Adele XL Recordings
03   Loud Rihanna Def Jam
04   Born This Way Lady Gaga Interscope
05   Who You Are Jessie J Island/Lava
06   4 Beyonce Columbia/Parkwood Ent
07   Teenage Dream Katy Perry Virgin
08   Back to Black Amy Winehouse Island
09   The Fame Lady Gaga Interscope
10   Seasons Of My Soul Rumer Atlantic
11   Lights Ellie Goulding Polydor
12   Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor  Caro Emerald Dramatico/Grand Mono
13   Greatest Hits So Far Pink Laface
14   Simply Eva Eva Cassidy Blix Street
15   On A Mission Katy B Rinse Recordings
16   Mayhem Imelda May Decca
17   Eliza Doolittle Eliza Doolittle Parlophone
18   Lungs Florence & The Machine Island
19   Pink Friday Nicki Minaj Cash Money/Island
20   Killer Love Nicole Scherzinger Interscope

© Official Charts Company. The above chart reflects 2011 albums sales to week 44 (Saturday November 5).

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out the complete list of the biggest selling albums of 2011, which will be released in a few weeks.