2016: Mozart Outsells Adele, Drake

mozartrtr403dgThe music business as we know it is dead. It’s fitting that the final nail in its coffin would be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—the 18th-century composer, long-dead himself—who this month became 2016’s top artist by CD sales. Mozart owes the win to a boxed set of his music that was released Oct. 28 in celebration of the 225th anniversary of his death and went on to sell 1.25 million CDs in just five weeks. (Drake’s “Views” took twice that time to edge

past 1 million sales, by comparison.) The compilation “is the fruit of years of scholarship, planning, and curation,” according to Universal Music Group. Of course, as one might suspect, the world has not developed a sudden fervor for a classical era revival. As several music blogs have pointed out, the 1.25 million figure tallied by Billboard technically counts every individual CD sold—and because each of the Mozart box sets contains 200 discs, only about 6,000 people are responsible in total for the composer’s chart-topping success.

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