Rag'N'Bone Man has scored a colossal No.1 in the albums chart with his debut record, Human.
According to Official Charts Company data, Rag'N'Bone Man – whose real name is Rory Graham – shifted an incredible 117,000 copies across physical (which made up 67% of his total sales), download and streaming. In doing so, he has secured the fastest-selling male debut album of the decade, beating competition from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.
Indeed, only three debut acts have sold more in their first week since 2010: One Direction’s Up All Night (139k), Rebecca Ferguson’s Heaven (128k) and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ self-titled release (123k), all of which were released back in 2011.
Human is also the overall fastest-selling album of the past 12 months, beating the likes of recent No.1s by The Rolling Stones, Little Mix and Elvis Presley.
Julian Palmer, head of A&R, Columbia, spoke to Music Week about why he feels the record has connected with people so powerfully.
"When people see him and engage with his personality, it’s all about his voice and the song," he said. "It’s a rare thing these days, somebody with that power doesn’t come along too often. It’s his realness that people are buying into.”
Adding to this, Stacey Tang, general manager, Columbia, told Music Week that she believes this debut could just be the first in a series of big releases from their breaking artist.
"We’re really excited for what can happen [with Rag’N’Bone Man] this year and we’re still laying the foundations," she said. "This is week one of his album release in the UK but he’s going to be releasing albums for a very, very long time so we’ll do the best to lay as solid as foundation as we can for him."
- In the wake of Rag'N'Bone Man's stunning sales, this week's cover story sees Music Week investigate whether the great British new artist drought is finally over.