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1 billion songs legally downloaded in the UK, Adele tops chart

All-time legal music downloads in the UK have just hit 1 billion, led by everyone's favourite heart-weary North Londoner.

Legal digital music downloads have just hit 1 billion in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company.

Tottenham's own lovesick warbler Adele leads the pack in digital downloads, holding the number 1 spot with 1.41 million downloads of the hit song Someone Like You, although her album 21 is the fourth-biggest selling album of all time in the UK.

At 188.6 million tracks, digital sales in 2012 were the highest ever and they're still on the rise. Since music was first available for legal download nine years ago, 16 tracks, including Adele's hit, have cracked the 1 million milestone. 99.6 per cent of singles purchased in the UK are now digital downloads. 

"As fans increasingly download music on the move, tablets, smart phones and connected cars will drive another phase in digital music's expansion," said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, the UK music industry body. 

Here's the top 10 most downloaded songs in the UK, with some nice dropshadow on the art to make it look like it's still a real thing you can hold.

The huge boom in digital music downloads is partly responsible for high street music shops such as HMV being plunged into jeopardy, with over 60 stores closed, although recent restructuring prevented it from disappearing from shopping centres altogether.

"The explosion in download sales over the past nine years means we are genuinely now living in the digital music age," said Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company. 

Do you pay for digital music individually or use a streaming service like Spotify? How do you see the future of music? Let me know in the comments below or over on our chart-topping Facebook page