Despite the closure of physical stores through lockdown and delays to the manufacturing process because of the COVID-19 pandemic, albums consumption increased overall in Ireland in 2020, with Dermot Kennedy claiming the biggest album of the year.
3.8 million albums or their streaming equivalent were consumed in 2020 – an increase of 3% year-on-year – with album streams increasing 19% from 2.37m to 2.83m.
Dermot Kennedy scores Ireland’s biggest album of 2020 with Without Fear. The singer-songwriter from Rathcoole’s debut album enjoyed an incredible 2020, ending the year as the country’s most physically purchased, downloaded and streamed album of the last 12 months.
MORE: Ireland's Official Top 50 biggest songs of 2020
Without Fear – released in October 2019 – spent the entirety of 2020 in the Official Irish Albums Chart Top 10, with the record becoming the longest-running Number 1 debut album of the millennium, with 15 weeks in total at the top spot (eight in 2020). He is also the first Irish soloist in modern chart history to claim the Official Irish Chart double, topping the Official Irish Albums and Singles Charts in the same week.
The top new album release of 2020 came courtesy of Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia - the British popstar’s second album spawned four Top 5 singles on the Official Irish Singles Chart and places at Number 5 for the year.
Taylor Swift’s surprise-released lockdown album Folklore claimed 2020’s biggest opening week of chart sales (paid-for sales and streaming units) and ranks in seventh for the year, while late rapper Pop Smoke secured Ireland’s best-performing debut album released in 2020 with Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon, the eighth biggest album overall. Bruce Springsteen’s Letter To You, The Boss’ ninth Number 1 and the year’s fastest-selling album (physical and download purchases), occupies ninth.
MORE: Ireland's Official biggest vinyl albums and singles of 2020
Niall Horan scored the biggest homegrown album released in 2020 with Heartbreak Weather (12), followed by US rapper Juice WRLD’s posthumous chart-topper Legends Never Die (13). Also enjoying success were Eminem with his ninth Number 1 album Music To Be Murdered By (23), Canadian artist The Weeknd with his first Number 1 album After Hours (34), Selena Gomez with her Top 5 album Rare (36), and Andrea Bocelli with his highest-charting album for five years Believe (37).
Finally, Number 1 albums from Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga also feature in Ireland’s Top 50 biggest albums of 2020; Positions is Number 39, while Chromatica is Number 44.
MORE: The biggest Irish Homegrown songs and albums released in 2020
Ireland's Official Top 50 biggest albums of 2020
|1||WITHOUT FEAR||DERMOT KENNEDY||1|
|2||DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT||LEWIS CAPALDI||1|
|3||FINE LINE||HARRY STYLES||1|
|4||WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO||BILLIE EILISH||1|
|5||FUTURE NOSTALGIA||DUA LIPA||1|
|6||50 YEARS - DON'T STOP||FLEETWOOD MAC||4|
|8||SHOOT FOR THE STARS AIM FOR THE MOON||POP SMOKE||1|
|9||LETTER TO YOU||BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN||1|
|11||DERMOT KENNEDY||DERMOT KENNEDY||4|
|12||HEARTBREAK WEATHER||NIALL HORAN||1|
|13||LEGENDS NEVER DIE||JUICE WRLD||1|
|14||HEAVY IS THE HEAD||STORMZY||3|
|15||NO 6 COLLABORATIONS PROJECT||ED SHEERAN||1|
|17||HOLLYWOOD'S BLEEDING||POST MALONE||1|
|19||GOLD - GREATEST HITS||ABBA||1|
|22||DUA LIPA||DUA LIPA||3|
|23||MUSIC TO BE MURDERED BY||EMINEM||1|
|24||DON'T SMILE AT ME||BILLIE EILISH||4|
|25||CURTAIN CALL - THE HITS||EMINEM||1|
|26||GET TO KNOW||BECKY HILL||14|
|27||GOODBYE & GOOD RIDDANCE||JUICE WRLD||16|
|30||GREATEST HITS||BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN||1|
|33||LEGEND||BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS||8|
|40||THANK U NEXT||ARIANA GRANDE||1|
|42||TAKE ME HOME||ONE DIRECTION||1|
|43||TIME FLIES - 1994-2009||OASIS||3|
|45||WHAT'S THE STORY MORNING GLORY||OASIS||11|
|47||BEERBONGS & BENTLEYS||POST MALONE||1|
|48||HARRY STYLES||HARRY STYLES||1|
|50||BACK TO BLACK||AMY WINEHOUSE||1|
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