Official Singles Chart | Women lead the way in 2023, music’s record-breaking year

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2023 will be remembered as a landmark year in the music industry, particularly for women artists who dominated the charts like never before. In a record-breaking year, female musicians held the No.1 spot on the Official Singles Chart for an astonishing 31 out of 52 weeks.

This achievement, the highest since the chart’s inception in 1952, is a testament to the evolving landscape of music and the rising power of female voices.

The charge was led by none other than Miley Cyrus, whose anthem ‘Flowers’ blossomed at the top for 10 weeks. Joining her in this historic feat were an array of talented artists, both from home and abroad. The UK’s own Dua Lipa with ‘Dance The Night’, Ellie Goulding’s collaboration with Calvin Harris on ‘Miracle’, and RAYE’s ‘Escapism ft 070 Shake’ were just a few of the tracks that contributed to this unprecedented triumph.

International powerhouses like Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, and Taylor Swift also lent their voices to this chorus of chart-toppers.

Analysing the data further, it’s clear this wasn’t just a fluke. Four of the five biggest tracks of 2023 and seven out of the top 10 were by women. This marks women’s greatest domination of a year-end Top 10 in over 70 years of the Official Singles Chart. Such a feat clearly indicates the shifting dynamics in the music industry and the growing influence of female artists.

Dr. Jo Twist OBE, BPI Chief Executive, highlighted this achievement: “Whilst work continues towards achieving full representation for women across the music industry, 2023 has been a brilliant year for women in the official charts.” She emphasised the diverse range of recording artists achieving success with the backing of their labels, a sign of progress and a call for continued efforts to make this the norm.

But it’s not just about topping charts. 2023 also saw a surge in streaming, which now accounts for 87.7% of the market. The UK’s streaming market hit another record high with 179.6 billion audio streams, up 12.8% from the previous year. This led to a ninth consecutive annual rise in UK recorded music consumption overall.

Among the many successes, The Weeknd’s album The Highlights was 2023’s top album, with Taylor Swift’s Midnights and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) not far behind. This growth in streaming prompted the BPI to introduce the BRIT Billion Award, recognising artists who achieved over one billion career streams in the UK alone.

The vinyl market, too, saw a resurgence, with sales increasing for the 16th consecutive year. It’s not just about digital; physical music formats like vinyl LPs and cassettes continue to hold a significant place in the hearts of music lovers.

Top 10 singles of 2023

  1. Miley Cyrus – Flowers
  2. Dave & Central Cee – Sprinter
  3. RAYE ft 070 Shake – Escapism
  4. Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero
  5. Calvin Harrs & Ellie Goulding –  Miracle
  6. Rema – Calm Down
  7. SZA – Kill Bill
  8. PinkPantheress – Boy’s A Liar
  9. Harry Styles – As It Was
  10. Libianca – People

Top 10 albums of 2023

  1. The Weeknd – The Highlights
  2. Taylor Swift – Midnights
  3. Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version)   
  4. Elton John – Diamonds
  5. Harry Styles – Harry’s House
  6. Fleetwood Mac – 50 Years – Don’t Stop
  7. Eminem – Curtain Call – The Hits
  8. SZA – SOS
  9. Arctic Monkeys – AM
  10. ABBA – Gold – Greatest Hits

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