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Ed Sheeran, Mariah Carey & More Broke Big Music Records In 2018
Before you can listen to all of your favorite songs from this year one more time, we'll be saying "Thank U, Next" to 2018 and ringing in the New Year. As we jump into 2019, let's take a look back at some of the biggest music records your favorite artists broke this year. From Ariana Grande's viral "Thank U, Next" earning the popstar her first No. 1 song while breaking YouTube and other streaming records to BTS earning the title of the first-ever Korean artist with a No. 1 album in the U.S. to Drake beating a record previously held by the Beatles, 2018 was a landmark year for music. Read on to learn more about the big achievements these artists, along with Mariah Carey, Ed Sheeran, Cardi B and Queen, hit this year.
GRAMMY nominee Grande really lived up to her name in 2018—in addition to releasing her currently-GRAMMY-nominated fourth studio album, Sweetener, and her third No. 1 album, she landed her first-ever No. 1 single on Billboard's Hot 100, "Thank U, Next." Following the release of the song's hotly anticipated, 2000s-nostaglia-inspired video, she earned the biggest ever streaming week for a female artist with 93.8 million U.S. streams. A testament to the video's viral success, it also holds the current record for YouTube's most-viewed video in the first 24-hours of its release with 55.4 million views in its first day on the platform, taking the place of BTS' "Idol," which racked up 45.9 million upon its release earlier in the year.
Speaking of the K-pop phenoms, BTS had a record-breaking year as well. They made news in May when their album Love Yourself: Tear debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making them the first K-pop artist with a No. 1 album in the U.S. on the all-genre chart. As the songs are sung mostly in Korean, this was the first primarily foreign-language album to reach No. 1 in over 12 years. This follows their previous record as the first-ever K-pop group to break the top ten on the same chart when Love Yourself: Her hit No. 7 after its release in October 2017.
GRAMMY winner Drake also had a big year, thanks to the June release of his eighth studio album, Scorpion, which earned the rapper several more GRAMMY nominations for the upcoming 61st GRAMMY Awards. The double album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, earning his eighth in a row to do so, tying him with fellow GRAMMY winners the Beatles, Jay-Z and Kanye West, who all also have eight No. 1 albums.
In July Drake broke another record previously-held by the Beatles: having the most songs in the top 10 of the Hot 100 at the same time. Drake had seven top 10 songs (from Scorpion) at once, while the Beatles hit the previous record of five back in 1964. With four of the album's singles debuting in the top 10 in the same week, he became the first artist with that many top 10 songs in a week; the previous record was J. Cole's three top 10 debuts earlier in the year.
This year was a huge year for hip-hop, with GRAMMY nominee Cardi B also helping lead the charge for the genre. Her debut studio album, Invasion Of Privacy, also earned her several more GRAMMY nods and other big accolades, including the title of the first female artist to have an album with all of its songs certified gold or above by the RIAA. The LP itself was certified gold only hours after its release in April and ends the year with a double-platinum stamp in the organization's end of year count, tying it for No. 1 with Post Malone's Beerbongs & Bentleys and Migos’ Culture II.
It was a big year for music overall, with 2018 clocking in as the biggest-earning year to-date for live music. Global concert sales hit a record-setting high of $2 billion dollars in 2018, up from $1.8 million in 2017. Leading the charge was GRAMMY winner Ed Sheeran, who's Divide Tour made the most money in a single year of any tour ever, earning $432 million across 94 events in 53 cities.
It was also a good year for movies about music, with the Queen film, Bohemian Rhapsody, taking the place of highest-grossing music biopic of all time. As of Dec. 12, the movie had earned $608.7 million globally, surpassing 2015's Straight Outta Compton, the film about gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A.
Ending the year on a festive note, Mariah Carey's holiday classic "All I Want For Christmas" ended 2018 with another record broken. On Dec. 24, the 1994 song broke Spotify's one-day streaming record, racking up 10.8 million streams on Christmas Eve.
Which music records will be shattered in 2019? We'll have to wait for the next viral hits and game-changing albums to find out…