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Blurred Lines most downloaded track

Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines has been named most downloaded tune in the UK: Photo © Blurred Lines most downloaded track Photo

Robin Thicke's controversial chart-topper has been named the most downloaded track in UK music history.

According to a new countdown compiled by the Official Charts Company and unveiled by BBC Radio 1, the track Blurred Lines - which also features vocals from TI and Pharrell Williams - has sold a record-breaking 1.54 million copies since it was released in May.

The best-selling single of 2013, it was banned at several universities and was the subject of campaigns from women's rights groups after some said the lyrics were derogatory and sexist.

The track was accompanied by a video in which Thicke was surrounded by naked dancing models, prompting some to call for age ratings applied to pop tracks.

Whether aided or hindered by the negative publicity, the song sold more than any other in the UK last year - and has now been confirmed as the most downloaded of all time.

It overhauls the previous biggest selling download, Adele's Someone Like You, which has now sold 1.53 million copies to date. The all-time top five is completed by 2011's Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye featuring Kimbra released the same year, and I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas which was first released in 2009.

Pop star Thicke said: "I'm so honoured, the success of Blurred Lines is a dream come true."

The track entered the official singles chart at number one in its first week, reached one million sales in eight weeks and spent five weeks at the summit in two different spells. Even today, it continues to sell - having racked up 70,000 copies since the start of 2014 alone.

But around 20 UK universities stopped it from being played in their student union bars.

An e-petition addressed to the Prime Minister also called on him to put age ratings on music videos whether they are sold in shops or viewed online.

The announcement marks nearly a decade of downloading history.

In that period, 1.17 billion single track downloads have been bought in the UK and 153 million album downloads - adding up to more than 2.7 billion music tracks, or 108 tracks for every UK household.

The download explosion turned 2012 and 2013 into the two biggest years for singles sales in the history of the UK market. The era has also seen more "super-hits" than ever - in 2004, it had taken 50 years for UK fans to push almost 80 singles to million-seller status. This number has now almost doubled to nearly 150.

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