Sheku Kanneh-Mason is set for a major career boost and an immediate sales impact following his performance at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The wedding has now been confirmed as the biggest TV event of the year in the UK, with 18 million watching the ceremony. The BBC said an estimated 1.9 billion people watched around the world.
Decca released the official album, featuring the entire ceremony from Windsor Castle, on streaming services hours after it happened on May 19. It is also available on iTunes and is currently No.8. The physical release will follow on May 25.
Kanneh-Mason, who is signed to Decca Classics, is likely to see a significant sales impact for his debut album, Inspiration, which is currently No.7 on iTunes. Decca president Rebecca Allen has previously spoken to Music Week about her long-term ambitions for the teenage cellist, who was one of just two UK breakthrough artists in Q1.
Kanneh-Mason became the first classical musician to take over the official Instagram Stories account – followed by 235m people – in the run-up to the wedding and during the big day. He performed three pieces at the ceremony after being invited to play by the bride and groom.
“It was such an awesome moment – just really incredible to perform for Prince Harry and Meghan at their wedding,” said Kanneh-Mason. “The atmosphere was amazing and I’m proud to have played a small part in the celebrations. It’s a day I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Kanneh-Mason is nominated at next month's Classic BRITs.
As well as his performance, the official album features soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and The Kingdom Choir’s rendition of Stand By Me. The recording was produced by Anna Barry.
Spotify has revealed that Kanneh-Mason’s global streams increased by 428% following his performance.
The Royal Wedding – The Official Album has so far been streamed more than 100,000 times globally on Spotify. The most popular track is Karen Gibson and The Kingdom’s Choir’s version of Stand By Me, while streams for the original recording by Ben E King increased by 30%.
Allen said: “Decca are hugely honoured to have been involved in recording this remarkable day. The choices of music, and the artists involved, were of the highest quality and will now be available for everyone around the world to listen back to, again and again.”
Dickon Stainer, president & CEO, Global Classics & Jazz said: “Every word and every note of music from this historic event are now captured forever in the highest quality sound recording. It is something magical and unforgettable.”
Decca will make a donation per album sold to support the charitable work of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Decca Records previously recorded and released the Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, as well as the Wedding of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, and the Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.