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HDtracks' Best-Selling Albums of 2016

The 10 top downloaded albums of the year

With Beyoncé's sold-out Formation World Tour, three new music hits from rising EDM stars The Chainsmokers and a comeback from favourite popstar Britney Spears, 2016 was an incredible year for the music industry. New albums from Kanye West and Radiohead, emerging artists like Jess Glynne and Daya and hit performances at industry awards shows including the Grammys and VMAs left listeners with plenty of new music to enjoy. In addition to the new music, many of 2016's best-selling albums on HDtracks were throwbacks to the classic albums and artists we know and love. This eclectic mix of old and new provides the perfect musical blend to freshen up your playlists. 

Here's a snapshot of the best-selling albums of 2016 downloaded from HDtracks:

1. "Blackstar"

Artist: David Bowie

Released in January, "Blackstar" is English rock legend David Bowie's final album. Bowie pulled out all the stops for his 25th studio album, incorporating rich lyrics and an inventive new instrumental style. Leaving his fans with something big to remember him by, the experimental rock album left critics impressed and gave everyone who listened a new perspective on Bowie himself.

2. “Led Zeppelin IV”

Artist: Led Zeppelin

“Led Zeppelin IV” can only be described as a labor of love. The band recorded the album at several locations, including Headley Grange, the famous Victorian house in East Hampshire, where they spent their days “eating and sleeping music together.” Celebrated for its complex diversity, this album showcases Led Zeppelin’s subtlety and restraint in tracks like “Going to California” and “The Battle of Evermore,” and the band’s quintessential hard rock sound in songs like “Black Dog” and “Misty Mountain Hop.” And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the album’s crowning jewel, “Stairway to Heaven,” the eight-minute anthem that is now one of Led Zeppelin’s most well-known songs.

3. "Aqualung"

Artist: Jethro Tull 

Despite a release date over 40 years ago, "Aqualung" remains a top-selling album among music listeners. With a classic hard-rock sound, you'll enjoy Jethro Tull's collection of head-banging hits such as "Cross-Eyed Mary" and "Mother Goose" even more in High-Resolution Audio. 

4. "Pictures at an Exhibition"

Artist: Emerson Lake & Palmer 

Another album with roots in the early 1970s, "Pictures at an Exhibition" was first released as a live album, followed by a remastered edition released in 2001. This hit rock album was just as much of a knockout when first introduced as it is today and was nominated for a Grammy Award at the time of its release. 

5. "Greatest Hits"

Artist: Queen

It's hard not to break out in song and dance when a classic Queen song comes on, which is probably why their music has stood the test of time. Queen's "Greatest Hits" album remains a favourite of music fans from all generations.

6. "Come Away With Me" 

Artist: Norah Jones 

Pianist and singer Norah Jones' debut album, released in 2002, continues to provide listeners with calm, beautiful sounds even years later. Songs like "Come Away With Me" and "Don't Know Why" are still industry favourites, earning millions of listens on top music sites like Spotify and YouTube. 

7. "Loud Hailer"

Artist: Jeff Beck

Releasing 17 studio albums to date, 72-year-old Jeff Beck is no stranger to the music industry. That's why many hard rock music lovers waited in excited anticipation for the release of his newest album "Loud Hailer" in July. Fans of the album say Beck's newest music is a refreshing mix of his signature guitar with a modern, contemporary sound.

8. "Random Access Memories"

Artist: Daft Punk

This Grammy Award Album of the Year from electronic music duo Daft Punk has kept the dance floor bumping for three years running. Electronic anthem "Get Lucky" became one of the best-selling digital singles of all time and will always be a classic party-starter. 

9. “Back to Black”

Artist: Amy Winehouse

Despite Amy Winehouse's tragic death in 2011, her music lives on. "Back to Black" became the UK's second-best-selling album of the 21st century, and it appears that fans love this soulful album more than ever, since over 12 million copies have sold worldwide. 

10. “Stripped”

Artist: Macy Gray

“Stripped” is Macy Gray’s tenth studio album and first jazz recording. Debuting at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Jazz Albums chart, the ten songs featured on this album were recorded live using a single microphone in a Brooklyn church. Gray’s raspy vocals, backed by trumpeter Wallace Roney, drummer Ari Hoenig, bassist Daryl Johns and guitarist Russell Malone, evoke a beautifully raw, honest quality that fans are sure to love.

For an enhanced music experience, listen to the year's top albums with an NW-A20 Series Walkman®. This Walkman® is High-Resolution Audio compatible and comes with noise-cancelling headphones to deliver crystal-clear sound wherever you go. And if you're looking for a device with more space for your music, try the NWZ-A17 High-Resolution Walkman®, which has up to 64 GB of storage space. 

Now that you know some of the best-selling albums of 2016, head to HDtracks to download new songs to update your music playlists. With the mix of genres and combination of new and classic sounds, there will be plenty of songs to keep your music bumping for hours. 

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