Here’s something weird: The best-selling CD of 2016 did not come from Drake or Beyoncé or the Weeknd or any of the other towering pop stars who released big albums this year. Instead, it came from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who has been dead for more than two centuries. As Billboard reports, the 225-disc box set Mozart 225: The New Complete Edition has sold 1.25 million CDs since it came out at the end of October, marking the 225th anniversary of Mozart’s death. Drake must feel like Salieri now.
Of course, it’s not like 1.25 million people ran out and bought that ridiculously huge box set. Billboard uses the sort of math that counts every sale of a double CD as two different sales; OutKast can thank that loophole for their Speakerboxxx/The Love Below diamond plaque. Based on that logic, then, only 5,556 people would’ve had to buy that massive Mozart box set for him to win that title. So Mozart wins on a technicality, but he wins anyway.
UPDATE: Billboard is no longer calling Mozart the best-selling CD of the year. Nielsen’s David Bakula explains:
Certainly we don’t multiply the number of discs by the sale. When you do look at the total consumption for the year in terms of albums, you had Drake’s Views record being the top record of the year.
In terms of sales, it was bested by Adele’s 25 record, which actually came out at the end of 2015 but continued to sell very well throughout the year. But when we talk about total consumption — the album, all of the songs that were purchased individually, all of the streams that happened — Drake was the biggest of the year.