What Is the Average Age of Today’s Best-Selling Pop Stars? Wrong.

One listen to CHR radio and you’d think that the world’s biggest selling artists were the under 25 set. Nope.  From Music Business Worldwide:

Thought pop was music made for teenagers, by teenagers? Not anymore: the average age of the ten best-selling recorded music artists of 2014 was 38-years-old. They included young whippersnappers such as Pink Floyd, AC/DC and Michael Jackson.

At a tender 25-years-old, all-conquering Taylor Swift was the world’s No.1 commercial artist of 2014, according to the IFPI Global Recording Artist Chart for last year. The rankings were determined by a weighted combination of album and single-track consumption across physical, digital and streaming formats.

As such, Swift has been named the IFPI’s Global Recording Artist of 2014, receiving the annual award from the organisation’s CEO Frances Moore (pictured). Released in October, the artist’s record-breaking fifth studio album, 1989, sold more than 1.2m copies in its first week alone.

She was followed in No.2 by One Direction, signed to Syco/Sony Music, who released their fourth studio album FOUR in November. It secured them the historic achievement of being the first band to have all their first four studio albums debut at the top of the US charts.

Elsewhere in the IFPI Chart, though, there were a few slightly less youthful faces.

Coldplay, with an average age of 37, were the fourth biggest-selling act of 2014 while AC/DC, with an average age of 60, were at No.5. The Aussie rockers released their 16th studio album, Rock Or Bust in 2014, which topped the charts in Australia, Germany, Sweden and Canada.

Keep in mind that we’re talking about best-selling artists.  Kids (i.e. under-25s) don’t buy music at all. They stream it.  Read on.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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