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New BRIT Billion Award recipients include Mariah Carey, RAYE and Lewis Capaldi

The recipients of the new BRIT Billion award have been revealed
The recipients of the new BRIT Billion award have been revealed Copyright British Phonographic Industry (BPI)
Copyright British Phonographic Industry (BPI)
By David Mouriquand
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The Brit Awards took place in February, but there's one brand new award that has been announced three months later.

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Announced last year, the BRIT Billion Award is a new category which celebrates those who have surpassed the milestone of one billion UK streams in their career. 

Eligible streams are totted up by the Official Charts Company, and are counted where a musician is either the principal performer or a guest artist. The BPI - the voice of record labels in the UK - announced the first 13 recipients to win the prestigious accolade.

The inaugural class of recipients are ABBA, the late Whitney Houston, Lewis Capaldi, Ellie Goulding, RAYE, George Ezra, Coldplay, AJ Tracey, Anne-Marie, Headie One, Rita Ora, Sam Smith and Mariah Carey.

“I’m really honoured to be one of the recipients of the BRIT Billion Award,” Carey said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to my fans for their endless and enduring support. I love you UK lambily and cannot wait to come back to your side of the pond and create more magical moments together.”

“Am so buzzing to be one of the first artists ever to be given a “BRIT Billion” award,” Capaldi exclaimed on receiving the award. “Never in a million years did I think any of this stuff would happen but now it is I will gladly accept each and every award, you have my address.”

One recipient is notable – and not just because her debut album, ‘My 21st Century Blues’ is one of the year’s best releases... British singer-songwriter RAYE is an independent artist who publicly left her record label in 2021, making this win a particularly impressive one.

RAYE said: "Thank you so much to the BPI for this award. One billion streams is a very overwhelming number to truly wrap my head around, I’m very grateful to everyone and anyone who is included in that number, thank you."

The introduction of BRIT Billion reflects the extent to which streaming has transformed the music landscape over the past decade. More than 85% of the UK’s recorded music consumption now takes place through streaming. In 2022, a record of 160 billion UK audio streams was reached.

Sophie Jones, BPI chief strategy officer and interim chief executive, said in a statement: “For a recording artist, there can be few greater sources of pride than having a Platinum or Gold disc on their wall, but in an era when success in measured in the hundreds of millions and indeed billions of streams, it was clear that we needed a new and additional way to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievement in recorded music, and I feel certain that having a BRIT Billion Award will become equally prized.”

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