UK artists are behind four of the ten most-streamed tracks globally on Spotify over the past year, led by Harry Styles’ As It Was.
The first single from Styles’ third solo album Harry’s House was streamed an unrivalled 1.6 billion times worldwide on the streaming service last year, heading a year-end Top 10 that also included tracks by fellow UK artists Glass Animals, Elton John & Dua Lipa and Kate Bush.
Underlying the spectacular and enduring demand for British artists and music around the world, the strong UK presence on the world’s leading music streaming service is revealed as part of Spotify’s Wrapped for 2022 which unveils the most popular artists, tracks and albums of the past year. It also comes as UK artists occupy four of the top five places on Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 Songs chart for the first time ever.
As It Was has been a No. 1 hit across the world, including in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the US where in October it spent its 15th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the fourth longest chart-topping run of all time and the most by a British artist since the chart’s inception in 1958.
Oxford band Glass Animals’ long-running hit Heat Waves is at No. 2 and which, since its release in June 2020, has surpassed 2 billion worldwide streams in total on Spotify. It also set new Hot 100 chart records during the year, taking a record-breaking 59 weeks to climb to No. 1 in March before becoming the longest-charting track on the Hot 100 of all time with a 91-week tenure.
A year after she had Spotify’s fifth most-streamed track globally with Levitating, Dua Lipa is placed at No. 6 on the 2022 chart with her Elton John duet Cold Heart (PNAU Remix). Since its release in August 2021, the song has been streamed more than 1.2 billion times on Spotify.
At No. 10 is Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), which has become a global hit again after prominently featuring in the fourth season of the Netflix series Stranger Things. Originally released in 1985, the first single from the album Hounds Of Love took the iconic artist to No. 1 on Spotify’s Global chart and placed her in the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10 for the first time in her career.
Overall, UK artists claim more than a quarter of the 50 most-streamed songs on Spotify over the past year. Besides As It Was, Harry Styles is also represented by Watermelon Sugar (No. 43) and Late Night Talking (No. 45). Ed Sheeran is at No. 17 with Shivers and No. 30 with Bad Habits, while Camila Cabello’s Bam Bam on which he features is at No. 25. Adele is in 18th position with Easy On Me, Calum Scott at No. 29 alongside Lost Frequencies on Where Are You Now and Coldplay’s BTS duet My Universe is at No. 37. Ten years after it was first released, Tom Odell’s Another Love continues a renaissance began via Tik Tok, ranking at No. 23 for 2022.
In another sign of the popularity of UK music internationally, British artist for the first time ever occupy four of the top five places on Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 Songs chart. This achievement never happened during the Beatles-led British Invasion of the 1960s, nor the 1980s so-called Second British Invasion powered by the rise of MTV. A year after Dua Lipa’s Levitating led the 2021 countdown, Glass Animals’ Heat Waves is at No. 1 for 2022 with As It Was by Harry Styles at No. 2, Easy On Me by Adele at No. 4 and Shivers by Ed Sheeran at No. 5. They are joined in the Top 10 at No. 10 by Elton John & Dua Lipa’s Cold Heart (PNAU Remix).
Below the Top 10, the year-end Hot 100 Songs chart for 2022 also includes further tracks by Adele, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles as well as entries for Kate Bush and Sam Smith.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said:
“It may be getting much harder to stand out in the hyper-competitive global streaming market, but UK artists and labels continue to punch above their weight on the world stage, and for the UK to have four of the top 10 most streamed songs globally is an amazing achievement for British music. Our congratulations to Harry Styles and Glass Animals for their brilliant success in claiming the year’s top two most streamed songs– and also to Elton and Dua Lipa and amazingly – nearly four decades after Running Up That Hill was originally released – to Kate Bush for also making the global top 10.
“With the next generation of British artists bursting through, we can be optimistic that this golden era can be sustained, but only if we continue to ensure a environment in which UK record labels can thrive and keep investing in talent.”