Three Lions: England’s football anthem surges in popularity amid Euro 2024 final - how much has the song earned?

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England’s iconic football anthem Three Lions has once again surged in popularity as the team booked a historic Euro 2024 final spot against Spain this Sunday (July 14).

But how popular is the song since its release in 1996 and how much have its creators David Baddiel, Frank Skinner, and The Lightning Seeds earned over the years?

The song has sold approximately 1.6 million copies in the UK and has had multiple stints at number one on the UK Singles Chart, including during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, despite its popularity, especially during a football tournament, the financial earnings from the song in recent years have been relatively modest due to the shift from physical sales to streaming.

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For example, during the 2018 World Cup, "Three Lions" was streamed 5.6 million times, yet Baddiel, Skinner, and Ian Broudie from The Lightning seeds earned only around £837 from these streams. The trio receive just 0.003p per stream from platforms like Spotify​, according to reports.

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History of ‘Three Lions’ anthem

‘Three Lions’ released in 1996 as an anthem for the England football team during the UEFA Euro 1996 tournament, which was hosted in England. The song was born out of a collaboration between comedian duo Baddiel and Skinner and musician Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds after being approached by the English Football Association to create a song that captured the fan experience of supporting the England team, often characterised by hope and subsequent disappointment​.

The chorus, "It's coming home," refers to the belief that England, the birthplace of modern football, would reclaim its status as world champions. The song captures the joy of the 1966 World Cup victory with the subsequent decades of unmet expectations.

Three Lions reached number one on the UK Singles Chart during Euro 1996 and has since been adopted as a staple football anthem. It has resurfaced on the charts multiple times, particularly during major tournaments such as the 1998 World Cup, the 2018 World Cup, and the 2020 UEFA European Championship, where it again topped the UK charts​.

As of July 11, 2024, ‘Three Lions’ is ranked at number 15 on the UK Apple Music charts.

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