Pink

Pink. Photo: Supplied

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Acrobatic singer Pink has performed an extraordinary manoeuvre in the Australian charts, producing last year's biggest selling album without even releasing a record last year.

Her 2012 The Truth About Love came out on top when record sales for last year were tallied this week by ARIA. It was the first time the same album has topped the end-of-year chart for two consecutive years. It has now sold more than 560,000 copies.

The 34-year-old, who completed a huge 46-date sell-out Australian tour last year, has had an album finish at number one or two in the end-of-year charts for six of the past seven years. Her 2010 greatest hits album came 19th in ARIA's top 100.

The top 50 albums were dominated by acts that have either toured or announced a visit, including One Direction, Lorde, Eminem, Beyonce, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and Michael Buble, whose album Christmas sprinted into seventh spot. Fleetwood Mac had two albums in the top 100, even though they cancelled a tour in November.

The Truth About Love easily outsold the next biggest album, Prism by Katy Perry, another American with arguably the next best claim to the title of Australia's Queen of Pop. Perry had the biggest single and the longest-running number one (nine weeks) in Roar, which pipped Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. Sales for that were no doubt boosted by one the year's more controversial video clips.

But a confronting clip did not equal chart dominance; few could forget Miley Cyrus' hammer-licking nude performance for Wrecking Ball, but the song peaked at number four and only came 22nd overall.

The best-selling Australian album of 2013 was electro whizz-kid Flume's self-titled debut, ahead of Willy Nilly - The 12th Man's Greatest Hits and Human Nature's Christmas Album.

Of the top 100 albums, 27 were Australian, a better representation than the top 100 singles, where only 13 Australian tracks featured. The best selling local single was Riptide by Vance Joy, the Melbourne troubadour hand-picked by Mushroom supremo Michael Gudinski. Next best was Birds of Tokyo's Lanterns, which was also the year's most-played song on radio.

ARIA also released a digital streaming chart for the first time to reflect the popularity of iTunes alternatives such as Spotify, MOG, Deezer and Rhapsody. The streaming chart was topped by the year's surprise pop star, Kiwi teenager Lorde. Her song Royals beat Swedish DJ Avicii's Wake Me Up.

There were a few notable under-performers in the end-of-year charts. Most notably, Justin Bieber.

Bieber released 12 singles last year but not one made the top 100 singles or the sub-chart of streamed tracks. He did feature on will.i.am's #Thatpower, which came in at number 62 in the main singles chart. But his inability to sell big numbers seems a sure sign that his star is fading where it matters most for an artist of his ilk: sales.

The Bieb's latest album, Journals, has only been out a fortnight, but it is tanking everywhere — it dropped to number 50 in its second week here. Are his once devoted Beliebers starting to desert him? They certainly are at the checkout, although his Twitter followers still number more than 48 million.

Lady Gaga's Artpop was surprisingly low in the end of year album charts, at 72. She also just squeezed into the top 100 singles, at 93, with Applause.

More predictable was the pale showing by many of the most critically-acclaimed albums of the year. Only one of the most praised albums made the top 10 — Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. Arctic Monkeys' AM did well to come 31st, while Queens of the Stone Age's ...Like Clockwork was 59th, Nick Cave's Push The Sky Away was 83rd and David Bowie's lauded The Next Day came 100th. Arcade Fire's Reflektor made many (many) critics top 10s, but it didn't even make the top 100 best sellers.

Would those artists care? You bet. The music industry is about doing business and as ever, the vote that counts most belongs to the public.