Music by British artists nominated for the BRITs Rising Star Award over the past five years was collectively streamed more than 13 billion times globally in 2021, according to research by UK record labels’ association the BPI.
The multi-billion figure, compiled using data supplied by MRC and Official Charts Company, brings together all the on-demand audio streams achieved in 2021 by the 15 artists shortlisted for the annual award between 2017 and 2021. Between them, they were responsible for 13.5 billion streams around the world in 2021, including more than 1.9 billion audio streams in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company data.
These global and UK streaming numbers are revealed ahead of The BRIT Awards 2022 with Mastercard on 8th February at The O2 arena to be broadcast live on ITV and ITV Hub. The 2022 Rising Star winner Holly Humberstone will be presented with her award at the ceremony and will also perform.
Since its launch in 2008, the Rising Star Award1, originally known as the Critics’ Choice, has successfully identified the future stars of UK music. Early winners include Adele, Florence + The Machine and Sam Smith, while between 2017 and 2021 it was won by Rag’n’Bone Man, Jorja Smith, Sam Fender, Celeste and Griff. During these five years the nominees also included Anne-Marie, Dua Lipa, Lewis Capaldi and Mabel.
Most recently, the 2020 and 2021 Rising Star winners Celeste (more than 190 million global streams) and Griff (more than 250 million global streams) were among 2021’s most-streamed British artists worldwide, highlighting the success of the award in putting the spotlight on emerging UK music talent.
Although they are not included in the calculations, 2022 nominees Holly Humberstone, Bree Runway and Lola Young collectively already generated more than 180 million global audio streams last year. This was led by winner Humberstone with around 140 million streams, including 27 million in the UK.
Mabel, who was shortlisted in 2018, achieved around half a billion global audio streams last year, while fellow nominees Beabadoobee, Mahalia, Rina Sawayama and Stefflon Don topped 100 million streams.
Shortlisted in 2017, Dua Lipa was, however, the most-streamed Rising Star nominee of the past five years in 2021 with around 7 billion global audio streams, including over 500 million in the UK. Her performance was led by her long-running hit Levitating, which ranked as the US’s top track of last year with 627 million audio streams and spent 41 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10, a record for a song by a woman artist.
Lewis Capaldi, who was shortlisted in 2019, claimed 2.3 billion audio streams globally in 2021, more than 270 million of them in the UK. The main contributor was his transatlantic chart-topper Someone You Loved. Anne-Marie, nominated in 2017, topped 1 billion global audio streams last year, including more than 250 million in the UK where her most-streamed track was Don’t Play with KSI and Digital Farm Animals.
Rag’n’Bone Man and Jorja Smith, who won the award in 2017 and 2018 respectively, both surpassed half a billion global audio streams across last year, including more than 100 million streams each in the UK. Rag’n’Bone Man’s total was led by his P!nk duet Anywhere Away From Here, while Smith’s most-streamed track in the UK was Addicted, the lead single from her 2021 UK Top 10 album Be Right Back.
Having triumphed in 2019, Sam Fender clocked up around 270 million global audio streams last year, largely powered by a phenomenal run of success in the UK where the singer-songwriter’s album Seventeen Going Under became his second successive domestic chart-topper.
Women artists make up 11 of the 15 shortlisted artists between 2017 and 2021 and accounted for 76% of the global audio streams generated by the Rising Star nominees in 2021 and 68% of the UK streams.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said:
“Ever since Adele claimed the first award in 2008, The BRITs Rising Star has unwaveringly signalled the next new wave of British talent that will go on to thrive at home and around the world. The many billions of streams achieved by the BRITs Rising Stars in 2021 not only testifies to their talent and the hard work of their label teams; it highlights that for a streaming artist to be successful it means, among other things, achieving tens of millions of streams or more every year. Despite the unprecedented competition to make a mark, there are thousands of UK artists delivering just these kinds of impressive numbers.”