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Sheku Kanneh-Mason becomes first BBC Young Musician winner to break into pop chart with debut album

18-year-old cello player Sheku Kanneh-Mason is taking the music world by storm as he becomes this year’s best-selling British debut artist – across ALL genres – making the Top 20 in the Official UK Albums Chart with his classical album ‘Inspiration’. The album, which was recorded in Birmingham at the world-renowned Symphony Hall and in Sheku’s hometown of Nottingham, has entered the main chart at No.18 and is also No.1 in the classical chart.

Sheku makes chart history as the first BBC Young Musician winner to enter the Official UK Albums Chart with a debut recording, as well as the youngest cellist ever to reach the Top 20. He is also the highest-chartingBBC Young Musician winner ever.  

In addition, Sheku becomes the youngest classical artist to break into the Official UK Albums Chart in almost a decade (since Britain’s Got Talent star Faryl Smith’s debut in March 2009, aged 14). His first recording – which ranges from Shostakovich to Bob Marley – is in the chart alongside albums by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Rag’n’Bone Man and Fall Out Boy.

“As a classical cellist, I can’t quite believe I’ve made the Top 20 in the pop charts with my first ever album! It has been an amazing experience and I’m very grateful to everyone who’s supported me. I hope the pieces on this album inspire others the way they’ve inspired me.”

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Later this year, the BBC Young Musician’s 40th anniversary grand final will be held at Symphony Hall.