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'Frozen,' Pharrell lead midyear sales

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By USA Today
Friday, July 4, 2014, 4:51 p.m.
 

Halfway through 2014, album and digital sales are down. But it's animated at the top.

With 2.7 million copies sold, Disney's “Frozen” soundtrack is 2014's biggest-selling album, and the only one to sell more than 1 million copies this year, according to a midyear report from Nielsen SoundScan.

Pharrell's “Happy,” from the “Despicable Me 2” soundtrack, is the top digital song, with 5.6 million downloads.

Sales were calculated through the week ending June 29.

Midway through 2013, the leading album was Justin Timberlake's “The 20 / 20 Experience” with 2 million copies, also the only album to surpass sales of 1 million in that cycle. It prevailed as the year's top seller. “Frozen,” released in November, is likely to triumph at year's end, as well. It has sold 3 million copies to date.

Beyonce's self-titled disc is a distant second (702,000), followed by Eric Church's “The Outsiders” (642,000), Lorde's “Pure Heroine” (641,000) and Coldplay's “Ghost Stories” (589,000).

The top five are the year's only albums to have reached sales of 500,000, according to Billboard. Last year, there were 11.

Seven of the titles in the midyear top 20 were released last year, and two in 2012 (Florida Georgia Line's “Here's to the Good Times” at No. 14 and Bruno Mars' “Unorthodox Jukebox” at No. 15).

The Oscar-nominated “Happy” is the only digital tune to leap past 5 million downloads this year. Katy Perry's “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, is second with 4 million. She's trailed by John Legend's “All of Me” (3.9 million), Jason Derulo's “Talk Dirty” featuring 2 Chainz (3.7 million) and Idina Menzel's “Let It Go” (2.9 million).

A dozen songs have sold at least 2 million downloads this year, compared to 13 last year. And 38 songs have sold at least 1 million vs. 51 in the first half of 2013, Billboard reports.

Album sales, sliding for years, are down 15 percent compared to the same period last year. Those dips have been partially offset by booms in digital sales, but downloads have also drooped, slipping 13 percent since last year's midpoint.

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