This Is What Your Year Sounded Like: 2015’s Most Streamed Artists According To Spotify

2015 will be remembered for many reasons: liquid water being found on Mars, World War III fast-approaching and, of course, Lenny Kravitz’s pierced member.

But what people remember most about a particular year is what they were listening to. They’ll remember 2015 for singing along to Lionel Ritchie at Glastonbury, dad-dancing to ‘Hotline Bling’ and finally accepting Justin Bieber’s musical apologies. With this in mind, Spotify has unveiled its list of the most streaming artists, albums and songs of the past year. This is most likely what your year sounded like.

Most streamed artist of 2015 in the UK: Ed Sheeran


Just a few years ago, Ed Sheeran was that kid at the party whipping his guitar out to anyone who’ll listen (probably), now he’s pretty much that same guy but to an audience of millions. With more than 3 billion streams to date, Sheeran recently overtook Eminem as the most-streamed artist in Spotify’s history. With 59 million listeners this year, he once again took the crown as the most-streamed artist in the UK, pipping The Weeknd, Sam Smith and more to the pop.

The top five streamed artists in the UK:

1. Ed Sheeran
2. The Weeknd
3. Drake
4. Sam Smith
5. Kanye West

Most streamed male artist of 2015: Drake

If 2015 has belonged to anyone, it’s Drake. Earlier this year, he defeated Meek Mill in the softest beef of all-time and then, more recently, he released a video that launched a thousands memes in the form of ‘Hotline Bling’. On top of this, Drizzy also walks away as the most streamed artist of the past twelve months after notching up over 1.8 billion streams this year.


Top five male acts of the year:

1. Drake
2. Ed Sheeran
3. The Weeknd
4. Maroon 5
5. Kanye West

Most streamed female artist of 2015: Rihanna

With over one billion streams and 57 million listeners this year, Rihanna takes the prize for 2015’s most streamed female artist. Not bad for someone who hasn’t even released an album this year. Yet), that is.

Top five streaming female artists:

1. Rihanna
2. Ariana Grande
3. Nicki Minaj
4. Beyoncé
5. Ellie Goulding

Most streamed song of 2015: Major Lazer – ‘Lean On’ (ft. MØ and DJ Snake)

Released back in March, Major Lazer’s MØ and DJ Snake collaboration ‘Lean On’ has fended off tough competition from OMI and Mark Ronson to become the most streamed song of the year and of Spotify’s entire history. It’s been streamed 540 million times. That’s over 70 times the number of times that The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ has been played on the radio. So quite a lot, then.

Top five streamed tracks:

1. Major Lazer – ‘Lean On’ (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)
2. OMI – ‘Cheerleader’ (Felix Jaehn Remix)
3. Mark Ronson – ‘Uptown Funk’ (feat. Bruno Mars)
4. Wiz Khalifa – ‘See You Again’ (feat. Charlie Puth)
5. Ellie Goulding – ‘Love Me Like You Do’

Most streamed album of 2015: The Weeknd – ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’

With help from producer-to-the-stars Max Martin, The Weeknd completed his transition from underground R&B maestro to bonafide pop star with ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’. Producing a string of seriously infectious hits (‘The Hills’, ‘Can’t Feel My Face’), the album attracted 60 million listeners on Spotify, making it the most listened to album of 2015. Abel Tesfaye can count his blessings that Adele didn’t her record earlier.

Top five most streamed albums:

1. The Weeknd – ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’
2. Drake – ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’
3. Major Lazer – ‘Peace Is The Mission’
4. Avicii – ‘Stories’
5. Meghan Trainor – ‘Title’

Most streams in a single day and single week: Justin Bieber

Despite being pipped to the UK Albums top spot by One Direction’s final hoorah, Biebs still managed to set a record for the most streams in a single day, both for the year and of all time. His new album ‘Purpose’ – a kind of musical reinvention and repentance – notched up 36 million streams over the 24 hour period beginning November 13. His good form continued for the next seven days, also setting the record for the most album streams in a single week, with over 205m streams. Take a bow, Justin.