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Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" Tops 2008 Global Best-Sellers Chart

February 17, 2009 12:56 PM ET

Coldplay didn't walk away with the Album of the Year award at the 2009 Grammys, but Viva la Vida did grab a pretty good consolation prize: The top-selling global album of 2008. In all, Chris Martin and Co. sold 6.8 million copies of Viva worldwide, and the LP easily became the best-selling digitally downloaded album of all time only one month of release, according to the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry).

AC/DC's Black Ice was Number Two in the world for 2008, followed by the ABBA-filled Mamma Mia! soundtrack. A pair of debut albums also penetrated the Top 10 Global Sellers, with Duffy's Rockferry taking Four and Leona Lewis' Spirit grabbing Seven. The Top Five was rounded out by Metallica's Death Magnetic. In the 18 through 20 slot, the triumvirate of Taylor Swift's Fearless, Jonas Brothers' A Little Bit Longer and the Camp Rock soundtrack represented the buying power of tween consumers. In the recent controversy department, Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad was the world's 10th best-seller, while Chris Brown's Exclusive finished in 46th place.

The global sales chart makes an album that seemingly disappointed in the U.S. look a lot better in the grand scheme. Madonna's Hard Candy was the 50th best-selling album in the U.S. in 2008, but scored 11 on the global charts. The same can be said for Guns n' Roses' Chinese Democracy, a chronic Best Buy-only underachiever in the States that sold enough copies around the world to place 14th, ahead of Britney Spears' Circus, Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus and Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak.

Over on the Digital Singles chart, Lil Wayne can proudly gloat that he had the biggest song in the world as "Lollipop" beat out Japanese singer Thelma Aoyama's "Soba ni Iru ne" and Flo Rida's "Low" for the best-selling crown.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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