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Ireland – A Nation That Speaks With Their Ears

If you’re anything like me, when you see those distinctive white headphones in the distance you sometimes  wonder about what those people are listening to on their iPods.

What’s that guy beside me on the bus listening to?  How about that girl sitting across from me on the train, or how about the guy rhythmically nodding his head in the queue at the local post office?  Well, chances are they are listening to the Kings of Leon.

That’s right, IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Industry) has confirmed that this year’s Oxegen headliners, the Kings of Leon, were indeed the biggest selling artists in Ireland last year, going five times platinum with their fourth album ‘Only by the Night’.  Considering that the album was only released in September, that’s not bad going for the Nashville rockers. The album has so far spawned more than its fair share of hit singles, the anthemic ‘Sex on Fire’ and the touching ‘Use Somebody’ to name but a few, and sales of the album will no doubt continue for many months to come yet.

Top of the singles chart was The Galway Girl written by Steve Earle and recorded by Sharon Shannon and Mundy. Time for all you Bulmers Cider drinkers, latter manufactured in Co.Tipperary, to raise a glass in celebration of your adopted anthem. It was the highest selling single and also interestingly enough, in a musical era defined by downloads (both legal and illegal), The Galway Girl was the most downloaded song in 2008.

So who is in line for the 2009 crown?  Well it’s probably too early to say, but it’s a brave man who will ignore the fact that a certain Dublin band called U2 recently released a new album this year.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see will the Irish nation again speak with their ears.

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