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Wherever in the world you go, and no more so than here, one hears British music – some of it new, some old. At the same time, one often also hears people comment that Britain “no longer makes things”. Yet, one of the reasons that the UK economy is one of the largest in the world is its success in “invisible” areas like music.
Many may think that the golden era – for example of the Beatles and Stones – may have passed, but British music remains a staggering money-spinner.
It’s worth around $ 6 billion each year, with UK artists accounting for almost 12% of global sales in 2010. From Adele to Elgar, the Beatles to Queen, Rod Stewart to Duffy, some of the most listened-to music has its origins in Britain. Our music festivals, musicals and concerts pull in huge numbers of visitors to our country each year. “Phantom of the opera” has grossed some $5 billion over the course of its run. UK artists continue to dominate the global scene- UK acts account for 10% of all records sold in the US. Adele made history in December by becoming the first female artist to top the Billboard artist, singles and album list.
The UK’s success in this area goes well beyond money – it showcases British creativity and innovation and projects our rich culture to all corners of the globe. Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find many people in this huge nation who could not reel off a string of songs from our small island.