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Ed Sheeran's debut album tops the UK pirate charts


Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran.

BRIT award-winning star Ed Sheeran's debut release is the year's most pirated album so far in the UK, a report says.

His album, called +, tops a list of recordings illegally downloaded from "torrent" websites, in which fragments of electronic files are accessed from numerous sites and then assembled.

The figures suggest that 33.5 million albums and 9.5 million singles were accessed in the UK from the BitTorrent website during the first half of 2012. That compares with 43.6 million albums sold legally - either as downloads or physically - during the same period, and 93.6 million singles.

The research by global analysts Musicmetric is claimed to be the most in-depth study of the digital music industry.

The second-most downloaded album is Stereo Typical by Rizzle Kicks, while Rihanna's Talk That Talk is third.

PA Media