Entertainment & Arts

Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines tops all-time download chart

Robin Thicke
Image caption Blurred Lines originally hit number one in June 2013

Robin Thicke's controversial hit single Blurred Lines has been named the UK's most-downloaded song of all time.

The song has sold 1.54 million copies since it was released last May, despite criticisms of its explicit lyrics.

About 20 university student unions banned the track, saying it promoted "date rape culture", an accusation Thicke consistently denied.

Its sales tally was revealed in a countdown of the UK's Top 100 downloads on BBC Radio 1.

Compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), the chart marked 10 years of legal downloads in the UK.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Adele's award-winning Someone Like You is the only other song to sell more than 1.5m downloads in the UK

Thicke's song overtook the previous best-seller, Adele's Someone Like You, to take the top spot.

Adele's ballad has racked up 1.53 million sales to date.

Moves Like Jagger by Maroon Five was at number three, followed by Australian one-hit wonder Gotye, with 2012's Somebody That I Used To Know at four.

The Black Eyed Peas completed the top five with the party anthem I Gotta Feeling.

All-time Official Download Chart Top 10
1) Blurred Lines Robin Thicke ft Pharrell and TI
2) Someone Like You Adele
3) Moves Like Jagger Maroon Five ft Christina Aguilera
4) Somebody That I Used To Know Gotye ft Kimbra
5) I Gotta Feeling The Black Eyed Peas
6) Get Lucky Daft Punk ft Pharrell
7) We Found Love Rihanna ft Calvin Harris
8) Wake Me Up Avicii
9) Happy Pharrell Williams
10) Sex On Fire Kings of Leon

According to the Official Charts Company, more than 99% of singles are now purchased as digital downloads.

Fans have bought more than 1.17 billion tracks in the past 10 years, with 27 songs passing the one million download mark.

The latest to achieve the feat is Pharrell Williams' Happy, which has surpassed 1.3 million sales since its release last summer.

Happy took ninth place in the all-time download chart, giving Williams three entries in the top 10.

The others came from his guest appearances on Blurred Lines and Daft Punk's Get Lucky.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Pharell Williams' Happy was also nominated for an Oscar earlier this year

The Top 100 was unveiled as part of a UK music industry initiative called A Decade Of Digital.

It celebrates 10 years since sites like iTunes and Napster launched in the UK, helping legitimise the download market.

'Not sleazy'

Blurred Lines was released 11 months ago and continues to sell, having sold 70,000 copies since January.

Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot said: "To become one of only two tracks to have been downloaded 1.5m times - and climb to the top of the poll as the biggest download of all time - is an incredible achievement."

Image copyright Record label
Image caption The unrated video for Blurred Lines also attracted controversy

However, the song's lyrics - which find the 37-year-old in a club talking to a woman who may, or may not, want to go home with him - have proved problematic.

"I know you want it, but you're a good girl," Thicke sings. A video featuring three topless women fuelled allegations the song was misogynistic.

Last September, contributors to Project Unbreakable, a photographic project dedicated to survivors of sexual assault, held up placards comparing words spoken by their attackers to lines from the song.

But Thicke has told the BBC his critics didn't "get" the song.

"I don't want to be sleazy, I'm a gentleman, I've been in love with the same woman since I've been a teenager. I don't want to do anything inappropriate."

Upon hearing it had become the most-downloaded song in UK history, Thicke said: "I'm so honoured, the success of Blurred Lines is a dream come true."

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