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 News Classical 27/05/2018

Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason Breaks Charting Records After Performance At The Royal Wedding

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts ) 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason wowed the world at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last weekend, and now he's dominating the charts on both sides of the Atlantic - hitting No.1 on the US and UK Amazon charts and No.1 on the US iTunes charts with his debut album Inspiration.

Kanneh-Mason's album is No.11 on the Official UK Album Chart - the highest ever chart position for a cello player - and it's set to reach the Top 20 on the US Billboard Album Chart too, the first time a British classical cellist has ever achieved this feat. His classical album (which ranges from Shostakovich to Bob Marley) is vying for chart attention alongside major pop stars like Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar. It is simultaneously No.1 in the UK Classical Chart, No.10 on the Scottish Album Chart and No.10 on the CD Albums Chart.

Kanneh-Mason says, "It's been a crazy week with the Royal Wedding and then my college exams straight after! The reaction to my performance has been incredible and it feels amazing to have my album in the pop charts internationally. I'm so happy that people are enjoying my music and am really grateful for all the support I've received in the past few days - it's been fantastic."

The phenomenal reaction to Kanneh-Mason's performance at the Royal Wedding, where he performed three pieces during the signing of the register, has also earned him thousands of new fans. He has over 355,000 new followers on social media platforms, which means he's expected to enter in Billboard's Social 50 chart, alongside the likes of Ariana Grande, Harry Styles and Dua Lipa.

Kanneh-Mason's social media following has grown by a whopping 835% since the Royal Wedding, which was televised around the world to millions. On Saturday, he also became the first classical musician to take over the official Instagram Stories account, followed by 235 million people. Previous stars to have hosted the page for a day are Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga.

What's more, his stunning performance, dapper outfit and endearing personality earned him the nickname #CelloBae which rapidly swept across social media platforms. Kanneh-Mason was trending on both Facebook and Twitter as his rendition of Schubert's "Ave Maria" received a staggering 28,000 tweets per minute - more than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle being announced as husband and wife!
There was also support from a host of famous names including Lily Allen, Paloma Faith, Piers Morgan, Judd Apatow, Ben Fogle, Kathy Burke and Suits star Sarah Rafferty.

With such an outpouring of affection, it's no surprise that Vanity Fair described him as "the cellist who stole hearts" and Esquire called him a "cello rockstar". It looks like #CelloBae is here to stay!

19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason first garnered public attention as the winner of the BBC Young Musician 2016. He made his BBC Proms debut the following year, and released his first album, Inspiration, earlier this year on Decca Classics. It entered the Top 20 in the Official UK Albums Chart, making him the youngest cellist ever to do so, and he also became one of this year's biggest breakthrough artists - across any genre. His beautiful cello arrangement of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" went viral worldwide.
Kanneh-Mason performed at 10 Downing Street for the 30th anniversary of Black History Month, making his Carnegie Hall debut, performing at Paris Fashion Week, as well as high-profile TV appearances (including two BBC documentaries) and a busy international concert career.
Kanneh-Mason is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music. He is passionate about making classical music accessible to all and is Junior Ambassador for the music education charity London Music Masters. He comes from an incredible musical family in which all six of his siblings (he is the third child of seven) play instruments to a phenomenally high standard - yet neither parents are musicians.

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