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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 12:47 GMT 13:47 UK
UK music sales hit European high
Katie Melua
Georgia-born singer Katie Melua became a British citizen in 2005
UK artists are dominating album sales in France and Germany - the world's fourth and fifth largest markets for recorded music, industry figures show.

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) claims the UK's share of the recorded music market in both countries hit a four-year high last year.

British singer Katie Melua's follow-up album, Piece By Piece, was the second best-selling album in Germany in 2006.

In total, 23 of the 100 top-selling albums were by UK artists.

Melua's Piece By Piece became the biggest-selling UK album in Germany last year, with acts such as Coldplay and Depeche Mode also achieving strong sales.

Debuts from Corinne Bailey Rae and James Morrison also featured in the top 100.

'Diversity and quality'

In France, more than one in ten albums sold are currently by UK acts, industry analysis suggests.

James Blunt's Back to Bedlam was the biggest-selling album of last year, but Robbie Williams remains one of France's most popular artists with three titles in the UK artists' top 20.

BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said: "Music is one of the UK's great cultural and economic exports.

"The fact that UK labels are gaining an increasing share of these major international markets demonstrates the diversity and quality of new British artists.

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