Dua Lipa revealed as most-played artist of 2020

Dua Lipa’s songs were played more than anyone else’s in the UK last year, after her multi-award winning album Future Nostalgia shot up the charts during lockdown.

The 25-year-old rocketed to fame in 2017 with her track New Rules, and has now enjoyed a stellar year with her disco-pop record winning her critical acclaim, Grammys and Brit Awards.

Lipa has ended the reign of Ed Sheeran, who has held title of the UK’s most-listened to artist since 2017.

Dua Lipa performs during the Brit Awards 2021
Image: Dua Lipa performed at the Brit Awards

The list is compiled by the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), which monitors music plays and dishes out royalties to artists.

She said: “Thank you so much to everyone that listened to and loved my music during 2020.

“I’m incredibly proud that I was the most-played artist on radio, TV and all across the UK. I so wanted Future Nostalgia to bring some happiness during such a difficult time.

“Thanks to everyone who supported it and also to PPL, who do important work in making sure artists and musicians are paid when their music is played.”

More on Dua Lipa

Sheeran does however remain ever-present in the list, staying at the number two spot, thanks to his sprawling back catalogue.

He has been on a break since the birth of his daughter, but has recently teased new music.

Completing the top five are Ariana Grande, Sam Smith and Calvin Harris.

The Weeknd performs during the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show
Image: The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights was the UK’s most played track in the UK

There is also good news for The Weeknd, who’s song Blinding Lights was the most played track of the year in the UK.

The track went viral on TikTok, with users using the song to inspire dance routines on the app, while The Weeknd used it to close out his energetic Super Bowl half-time show set.

Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now is second on the most listened to songs list, with Higher Love by Kygo and Whitney Houston third.

Dance Monkey by Tones and I was fourth and Adore You by Harry Styles was fifth.

PPL’s chief executive Peter Leathem said: “Music’s power as a force for good was needed more than ever in 2020 as we faced a year like no other.

“The artists in our 2020 charts played a significant role in helping many of us to get through these difficult times and I would like to congratulate them all.

“I am also immensely proud of the work that PPL did last year, collecting royalties for the public performance of recorded music and distributing these to the performers and record labels that created it.

“With live music shut down for much of 2020, PPL’s royalty payments became an even more important source of income for these artists.”

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The full list of the most listened to artists and songs is below:

The most-played artists of 2020

1. Dua Lipa

2. Ed Sheeran

3. Ariana Grande

4. Sam Smith

5. Calvin Harris

6. Little Mix

7. Coldplay

8. Justin Bieber

9. Maroon 5

10. The Weeknd

The most-played tracks of 2020

1. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

2. Don’t Start Now – Dua Lipa

3. Higher Love – Kygo and Whitney Houston

4. Dance Monkey – Tones and I

5. Adore You – Harry Styles

6. Before You Go – Lewis Capaldi

7. Physical – Dua Lipa

8. Memories – Maroon 5

9. This Is Real – Jax Jones and Ella Henderson

10. Rain On Me – Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande

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