11 Stats That Prove British Music Rules

With MTV’s Video Music Awards coming up this weekend, here are some fascinating facts and scintillating stats on the impact of British music on the U.S. Spoiler alert: it’s BIG.

1. Ten

Kevin Winter / Getty

Number of times Adele’s album 21 has gone platinum in the US. It has been certified ‘Diamond’ by the RIAA. After Adele both performed and won at the 2013 Oscars, the album again re-entered the Billboard top 10, marking its 81st week in the top 10, a record (excuse the pun) exceeded only by two albums: Born in the USA and The Sound of Music.

BONUS STAT: 21 has been the best-selling recording in the US (and indeed the world) two years in a row (2011 & 2012), the only time that has happened since records began.

2. 250%

Since 1999, international royalties earned by UK acts have more than doubled, and global earnings for UK songwriters have grown by over 250 per cent!

3. $8.00

Cost of Rolling Stones concert ticket in the 1970s. When their trousers (and faces) were wrinkle-free.

4. $637.50

Average cost of a Rolling Stones ticket today! (Can we borrow some money?) Ambassador Westmacott, a big fan, wrote a blogabout their recent 50th anniversary tour when it came to Washington D.C. in June.

BONUS STAT: The combined age of today’s lineup is 277. In other words, the same age as American patriot Patrick Henry. Truth.

5. Three

Wikimedia / Via commons.wikimedia.org

We’re happy for Kanye, and we’ll definitely let him finish if he wins a VMA on Sunday, but Eric Clapton is the SECOND GREATEST GUITARIST OF ALL TIME!

British rock legend Eric Clapton has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a whopping (and unequalled) three times! Not to mention his 18 Grammy Awards and #2 spot in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

6. $34,251,525

Wikimedia / Via commons.wikimedia.org

Box office haul for the 1975 musical film Tommy by pioneering British band The Who, based on their 1969 album of the same name. The Who’s “rock opera” was not only the first of its kind, it was one of the first rock performances to be brought to classical concert venues.

7. 5 Platinum, 7 Gold

Album sales milestones David Bowie (AKA Ziggy Stardust) has racked up in the US. The Embassy’s Counsellor for Economics, raves about Bowie’s status as an economic “Velvet Goldmine” in a blog post here.

8. FIVE

Number of British artists nominated for VMAs this year: One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, Mumford and Sons.

9. $250,000

Photo by David Hume Kennerly / Via upload.wikimedia.org

Amount raised for UNICEF at the first Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. (Trust us, that’s a lot in 1971 money.) One of the first of its kind, the benefit concert was hosted by George Harrison of The Beatles and took place at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. In 2012, the Concert for Bangladesh raised $1.4 million for UNICEF.

10. A lot … it’s just … a lot.

Ian Gavan / Getty

Number of teenage girls screaming at One Direction at any given moment.

11. Even more

Number of teenage girls screaming at the 1964 equivalent of One Direction.

According to the RIAA, the Beatles are the best selling band in US history. John, Paul, George and their drummer are still A-1 in our book! If there had been VMAs in their day, they would have won them all!

12. 547

Prue Loney, British Consulate-General NY / Via facebook.com

Number of international bands that came to play at SXSW 2012 where we presented our British Music Embassy. Our Consulate in New York also presented a showcase of British acts at the 2012 CMJ music festival.

13. Countless

Number of ways British music continues to enrich US culture. From MEGA ACTS like Muse to bands we’ve “probably never heard of,” in the words of Sally Field, “You like us! You really like us!!!!!”

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