Warner Records president Phil Christie on new heights for Dua Lipa as she tops Q1 sales

Warner Records president Phil Christie on new heights for Dua Lipa as she tops Q1 sales

Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia is the biggest album of 2021 so far, according to Official Charts Company data.

For the chart weeks one to 13, Future Nostalgia (Warner Records) ended the quarter with sales of 68,926 (including 54,624 from streams). Just over a year on from its release, Dua Lipa’s second album has sales to date of 333,968 (234,111 from streams).

After finishing third in 2020, the LP is now a frontrunner in 2021. It has so far spent 33 weeks in the Top 10, four of them at No.1.

Future Nostalgia was last on top in Q2 2020. Following a Grammys win and new edition, the LP has renewed momentum in 2021 in the run-up to next month’s BRITs.

“Future Nostalgia continues to reach new peaks, not just in the UK but around the world, as more and more people discover how great an album it is,” Warner Records UK president Phil Christie told Music Week. “We’re Good is now the sixth UK hit and will build into the BRITs where Dua will deliver another showstopping performance.”

Dua Lipa also has singles in Q1’s Top 100: Levitating is at No.13 (255,934 sales in 2021) and Don’t Start Now is at No.64 (117,963). Dua Lipa is also No.24 as a featured artist with Miley Cyrus on Prisoner (203,884).

Her self-titled 2017 debut album is at No.38 for Q1 with 27,514 sales. It has career sales of 720,505 and Dua Lipa recently passed a million sales across her two studio albums

Speaking to IFPI last month, Warner Records UK head of A&R Joe Kentish opened up about the release strategy amid the onset of Covid-19 in March 2020. Ultimately, Dua Lipa and her team opted to push ahead with the record.

Kentish said: “We still thought we’d be playing Glastonbury! As the reality dawned, the temptation to put it back was massive. The single was doing really well, so why take a chance? I think the first cue came from Dua. She just said, ‘If it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. Let’s put it out and have faith in the record we made.’ I felt the same – we knew we had a great record and it felt wrong to sit on it.” 

Future Nostalgia continues to reach new peaks, not just in the UK but around the world

Phil Christie

A new record has topped the albums chart every week of 2021 so far, with all but one doing so powered by a majority of physical sales.

Foo Fighters’s big No.1 album Medicine At Midnight (Columbia) finished at No.2 in Q1 with 66,231 sales.

Released in late 2019, Fine Line (Columbia) is still going strong for Grammy winner Harry Styles (61,149 Q1 sales; 424,227 total sales). Harry Styles also has three singles in the Q1 Top 100: Watermelon Sugar (No.33, 163,029 sales this year), Golden (No.59, 124,093) and Falling (No.73, 105,747). Watermelon Sugar's total sales are now 1,281,265.

Pop Smoke’s No.1 album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon (Republic/Polydor) is another streaming perennial. After emerging as the quarter’s biggest album in Q3 2020, the late rapper is No.4 for the first three months of 2021 (59,536). It was the most streamed album of the quarter. 

Polydor also has the biggest UK breakthrough of the quarter with Celeste at No.10. The Oscar-nominated singer’s debut LP Not Your Muse debuted at No.1 and ended the quarter with 45,393 sales.

EMI has a run of three Top 10 albums for the quarter: Queen’s Greatest Hits at No.5 (55,388 sales in Q1), Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent at No.6 (53,214) and Taylor Swift’s Evermore at No.7 (47,881). 

Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club (Polydor) is at No.12. The Music Week cover star has the top selling vinyl album of the year so far.

In the singles chart, Olivia Rodrigo’s long-running No.1 Drivers License (Geffen/Polydor) was well ahead in Q1 with 707,494 sales. Polydor has the top two singles for the quarter, with former No.1 single Wellerman by Nathan Evans, 220 Kid & Billen Ted in second place (396,206).

The Kid Laroi’s Without You (RCA) is at No.3 with 355,810 sales. The Australian rapper’s Fuck Love is at No.16 in Q1’s albums rundown (40,262 sales) after the mixtape reached the Top 10 for the first time in January, six months after its release.

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