June 21, 2018 / 2:48 AM

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2017's Most Popular Genre Is R&B/Hip-Hop, But Ed Sheeran's 'Divide' Is The Top Album



R&B and Hip-Hop dominated 2017, but pop singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was the artist that everyone listened to the most according to the data collected by Nielsen Music. 

The British star's new album, Divide, was the most consumed album in the United States in 2017. It, along with Taylor Swift's Reputation, is one of the only two albums that sold over 1 million physical copies last year. 

Nielsen measured the total music consumption in 2017 based on traditional album sales, track equivalent album units, and on-demand streaming equivalent album units. 

R&B, Hip-Hop Reigns Supreme

R&B and Hip-Hop are hailed as the most dominant music genre for the first time since the company started tracking music in 1991. In 2017, seven out of the 10 most consumed albums were from the genre, accounting for 24.5 percent of overall music consumption in the country. 

Kendrick Lamar's new album, Damn, trails behind Sheeran's Divide, as the second most consumed album of the year. It earned about 2.7 million equivalent album units in 2017. 

Drake's More Life sits at the number four spot with 2.2 million total units. Also on the list are hip-hop and R&B artists Bruno Mars, Post Malone, Migos, The Weeknd, and Khalid. 

'Despacito' Breaks Records

Of course, "Despacito," also made it to the top of the charts. One of the biggest songs of 2017 was from Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee. According to Nielsen, the Spanish-language hit made history.

In terms of activity, the breakout hit was the biggest song of the year followed by Sheeran's "Shape of You" and Lamar's "Humble." The crossover remix that featured Canadian pop star, Justin Bieber, also topped the Hot 100 chart. 

Ed Sheeran's Year

Spotify, the biggest music streaming service in the world, also hailed Sheeran as the most streamed artist in 2017. Divide, the album he released in March, was streamed 3.1 million times since its launch. The single, "Shape of You," also became the most streamed track of all time on the web-based app. 

"Ed Sheeran absolutely dominated this year with the release of his record-breaking album, Divide," said Spotify Chief Content Officer Stefan Blom. "There is no doubt that 2017 was The Year of Ed Sheeran, and we are thrilled that so many millions of music fans have discovered, listened to, and shared his music on Spotify."

The company also found that hip-hop is dominating the music industry. The genre saw an increase of 74 percent in streaming for the past year. 

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