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Everything You Need to Know About 2013 Music Sales in One Infographic

Streams climbed, CDs declined and Justin Timberlake wound up on top

Justin Timberlake performs n London, England.
Neil Lupin/Redferns via Getty Images
January 16, 2014 10:55 AM ET

When Nielsen and Billboard released their comprehensive report on 2013 music sales, a few facts became overwhelmingly obvious: streams are hot, vinyl even hotter and Justin Timberlake's new hairdo is a success! How big were supercouple Beyoncé and Jay Z last year? And how'd each genre fare? Our handy infographic breaking down 2013's streams and sales will tell you everything you need to know:

See our 50 Best Albums, 100 Greatest Songs and 44 more year-end lists, essays, galleries and more

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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