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December, 23

Kendrick Lamar's Damn is music critics' favourite album of 2017

Kendrick Lamar's Damn has been crowned music critics' favourite record of 2017.

Damn, released in April, roundly beat some of the best-selling albums of 2017, such as Ed Sheeran's ÷ (Divide), Taylor Swift's Reputation and Drake's More Life project, thanks to its combination of self-examination, politics, and treatise on American society.

Female artists did well in the poll, with second place going to Grammy-nominated artists SZA, for her partially-improvised R&B album CTRL, and Lorde, who came third with her sophomore effort, Melodrama.

Kendrick's album topped a "poll of polls" compiled by BBC News from 30 "album of the year" shortlists, published by the most influential magazines, newspapers and blogs in music - from specialist magazines like Billboard and NME to more mainstream outlets, such as Cosmopolitan and PopSugar.

Records were assigned points based on their position in each list - with the number one album getting 20 points, the number two album receiving 19 points, and so on.

Sheeran's album only received one point, for a mention from People magazine, who put it in seventh place on their year-end list.

But the Compton-born rapper emerged the clear winner after he took first place on 10 of the polls surveyed by the BBC, with his album garnering 28 poll mentions.

Critics gushed over the 30-year-old's fourth studio album, with Q magazine dubbing it "a flawless hip-hop masterclass" and Billboard magazine stating: "It is the unimpeachable truth that Kendrick Lamar recorded the greatest album of 2017."

The poll contained a diverse range of artists including Kelela, Khalid, Charli XCX, Kesha and Tyler, the Creator.

Even excluding non-U.K. publications from the BBC's survey, Kendrick still held the top spot, but U.K. rappers J Hus, Stormzy and Loyle Carner moved higher up the rankings.

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