Ed Sheeran was the most-played artist in the UK in 2021, making it the fourth time in five years that that singer has claimed the crown.
Sheeran’s track ‘Bad Habits’ topped the most-played song list. It is the first time he topped that chart since 2017’s hit, ‘Shape Of You’, which was recently subject to a High Court copyright case, ultimately won by Sheeran.
The rankings are according to new data from music licensing body PPL, and is calculated by tallying up the plays across radio, TV, pubs, clubs and shops.
Bedford native Tom Grennan did not place in the top ten overall list, despite having the second and third most-played songs of 2021. ‘By Your Side’, by Grennan and DJ Calvin Harris, finished in the runner-up spot, and ‘Little Bit of Love’ took bronze.
‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd’s was the fourth most-played track last year, even though it first came out in November 2019.
French DJ David Guetta had two songs in the top ten – ‘Heartbreak Anthem’ and ‘Bed’ – helping the veteran finish the year as the second most played artist.
We can now reveal PPL’s Most Played Tracks of 2021. Congratulations to all!
— PPL (@PPLUK) June 20, 2022
Speaking about the continued success of Sheeran, PPL chief executive Peter Leatham said it was, “a testament to the quality of his output [and] the strength of UK music at a time when the global music landscape is more competitive than ever.”
The PPL charts were announced alongside its annual report, where it posted a revenue of £252.8 million.