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Ed Sheeran crowned UK’s most played artist – for a fourth year

Ed Sheeran (Ian West/PA)
Ed Sheeran (Ian West/PA)

Ed Sheeran was the most played artist of 2019, topping the list for the fourth time in five years.

The Suffolk singer-songwriter, 29, had a bumper year in which he released his No.6 Collaborations Project, reaching number one in both the UK and US, and starred in Danny Boyle’s film Yesterday.

The list, compiled by music licensing company PPL, placed Calvin Harris in second, Sam Smith in third, Jess Glynne in fourth and P!nk in fifth.

No other artist has matched Sheeran’s multi-year record, with only a small number of acts – Harris, Coldplay, Glynne and Little Mix – appearing in the top 10 four times.

Capital FM Summertime Ball 2019 – Wembley Stadium
Calvin Harris (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Sheeran topped the list for 2018 despite not releasing any new music in the UK that year.

Earlier this year, Sheeran also topped the young musicians Sunday Times Rich List for the second year running, with an estimated fortune of more than £200 million, according to the publication.

The most played song of 2019 was Giant by Scottish DJ and producer Harris and singer Rag ‘N’ Bone Man.

Brit Awards 2018 – Show – London
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man at the Brit Awards (Victoria Jones/PA)

Nothing Breaks Like A Heart by Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus came second, Dancing With A Stranger by Sam Smith and Normani came third, I Don’t Care by Sheeran and Justin Bieber came fourth, and Just You And I by Tom Walker came fifth.

Four of the top five tracks were collaborations, reflecting an established but growing trend for multi-artist songs.

The 2019 list also highlights another strong year for homegrown talent, with all of the top five tracks by or featuring British artists, as are seven in the top 10.

There is a similar story in the artist list, where four of the top five artists are British, as are eight of the top 10.

BT Beyond Limits campaign – London
Singer Jess Glynne on stage (Doug Peters/PA)

PPL compiled the list from music usage and airplay data from radio stations, television channels, pubs, clubs, bars, jukeboxes and shops.

Chief executive of PPL, Peter Leathem, said: “From rising stars to established names, the PPL Most Played Charts for 2019 showcase the songs and artists that soundtracked our year.

“British music was particularly popular, with Ed Sheeran maintaining his popularity while acts such as Tom Walker and Mabel established themselves on the airwaves.

“Congratulations to all those featured in our charts as well as the music businesses that invest in and support their success.”

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