By his own admission, he's the world's most unlikely pop star. But the ever-popular Ed Sheeran has topped the charts this year, claiming the highest selling album of the year, ahead of homegrown opera trio Sol3 Mio.

The British singer's album X (pronounced multiply) was released in June and has spawned three hit singles, including Sing, Don't and Thinking Out Loud.

Taylor Swift's new record 1989 took out third place, ahead of this year's breakthrough act Sam Smith and his debut record In the Lonely Hour.

Parents will not be surprised to learn the soundtrack to Disney's hit Frozen was a best seller - beating out Lorde's Pure Heroine, which remained a favourite this year despite being released over a year ago.


On the singles chart, Pharrell's finger-snapping anthem Happy claimed the top spot, ahead of Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass and John Legend's All of Me.

Savage was the only Kiwi act to feature in the top 30-selling singles of the year, coming in 26th place for his hit with DJ Timmy Trumpet, Freaks.

Recorded Music New Zealand compiles the charts but wouldn't release exact sales figures. However, Sheeran's record X has gone double platinum in New Zealand, so has sold more than 30,000 copies but fewer than 45,000.

Top-selling albums
1 X - Ed Sheeran (Asylum/Warner)
2 Sol3 Mio - Sol3 Mio (Universal)
3 1989 - Taylor Swift (Big Machine/Universal)
4 In The Lonely Hour - Sam Smith (Capitol/Universal)
5 Frozen: The Songs - Various (Disney/Universal)
6 Pure Heroine - Lorde (Universal)
7 Ghost Stories - Coldplay (Parlophone/Warner)
8 We Rise - Devilskin (Devilskin/Rhythm/DRM)
9 The Endless River - Pink Floyd (Columbia/Sony Music)
10 PRISM - Katy Perry (Capitol/Universal)

Top-selling singles
1 Happy - Pharrell Williams (Columbia/Sony Music)
2 All About That Bass - Megan Trainor (Epic/Sony Music)
3 All Of Me - John Legend (Sony Music)
4 Stay With Me - Sam Smith (Capitol/Universal)
5 Shake It Off - Taylor Swift (Big Machine/Universal)
6 I See Fire - Ed Sheeran (Decca/Universal)
7 Say Something - A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera (Epic/Sony Music)
8 Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran (Asylum/Warner)
9 We Are Done - The Madden Brothers (Capitol/Universal)
10 Rude - Magic! (Sony Music).