Olly Alexander has been announced as the latest artist to receive a BRIT Billion Award for his work as Years & Years by the BPI, the representative voice for the UK’s world leading record labels and music companies.
The BRIT Billion award celebrates Years & Years’ achievement in surpassing the landmark of one billion career UK streams - as calculated by the Official Charts Company. Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh presented Olly Alexander with his landmark award backstage at Mighty Hoopla festival, before later joining him on stage during his headline set to perform two classic Girls Aloud hits The Promise and Call The Shots.
With three albums released to date, two of which reached Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart, including 2022’s Night Call, Years & Years’ extensive discography features such hit singles as Starstruck, Desire, Shine, If You’re Over Me, and King – the latter having already amassed over 150 million streams in the UK.
On receiving their BRIT Billion Award, Olly Alexander said:
“My brain can’t comprehend 1 billion streams in the UK, how is it possible !! ?? It’s an amazing feeling honestly!! Thank you to all my listeners and supporters – I literally love you!”
Officially launched on 4th May 2023, the first wave of 13 artists to receive the BRIT Billion award included global icons ABBA, Coldplay, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, pioneering rap and hip-hop artists AJ Tracey and Headie One, and chart-dominating pop artists and singer-songwriters Anne-Marie, Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, Lewis Capaldi, RAYE, Rita Ora and Sam Smith. Acclaimed singer-songwriter James Arthur was the most recent recipient of a BRIT Billion award, and was presented with it live on BBC’s The One Show from presenters Alex Scott and Roman Kemp.
The BRIT Billion award reflects the extent to which streaming has transformed the music landscape for artists and fans alike over the past decade – more than 85% of the UK’s recorded music consumption now takes place through streaming, and in 2022 there were a record 160 billion audio streams in the UK in total.