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’.
Sheku’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 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.
Sheku 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 really grateful for all the support I’ve received in the past few days – it’s been fantastic.”
The phenomenal reaction to Sheku’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.
Sheku’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. Sheku 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!