Ed Sheeran was the most-played artist from the UK in 2021

'Bad Habits' was also the most-played single of last year

Ed Sheeran has been crowned as the most-played artist from the UK in 2021, with ‘Bad Habits’ also the most-played single of last year.

The singer-songwriter claimed the same double in 2017 with the album ‘÷’ and song ‘Shape Of You’. 2022 marks his fourth time in fifth years to be the most-played artist in the country, only beaten by Dua Lipa in 2020.

Figures from the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) show the top 10 singles of the year, which also features songs by The Weeknd, Coldplay and Years & Years.


Joining Sheeran in the top 10 artists list are Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. You can see both lists below.

The most-played artists in the UK in 2021:

1. Ed Sheeran
2. David Guetta
3. Dua Lipa
4. Little Mix
5. Coldplay
6. The Weeknd
7. Justin Bieber
8. Calvin Harris
9. Taylor Swift
10. Pink

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran (Picture: Joe Maher/Disasters Emergency Committee/Getty Images for Livewire Pictures Ltd)

The most-played songs in the UK in 2021:

1. ‘Bad Habits’ – Ed Sheeran
2. ‘By Your Side’ – Calvin Harris featuring Tom Grennan
3. ‘Little Bit Of Love’ – Tom Grennan
4. ‘Blinding Lights’ – The Weeknd
5. ‘Higher Power’ – Coldplay
6. ‘All You Ever Wanted’ – Rag’n’Bone Man
7. ‘Heartbreak Anthem’ – Galantis, David Guetta and Little Mix
8. ‘Starstruck’ – Years & Years
9. ‘Midnight Sky’ – Miley Cyrus
10. ‘Bed’ – Joel Corry, Raye and David Guetta

Last month Sheeran released a new “tour edition” of his latest album ‘=’, which includes two brand new tracks.

The album sees the addition of nine tracks in total for this expanded version of Sheeran’s 2021 record. Two tracks – ‘I Will Remember You’ and ‘Welcome To The World’ – are totally new.


Two others, meanwhile – ‘One Life’ and ‘Penguins’ – come from the 2019 film Yesterday but have never officially been released. The musician played a version of himself in the film, alongside Himesh Patel as central character Jack Malik.

Sheeran announced at the time that all royalties from the single would be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, to support victims of the violence.

The singer is currently in the middle of his ‘+ – = ÷ x Tour’ – which features four shows at London’s Wembley Stadium.

See details of the shows below. Tickets are available here.

24 – Wembley Stadium, London
29 – Wembley Stadium, London
30 – Wembley Stadium, London

1 – Wembley Stadium, London
7 – Veltins-Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
14 – Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
15 – Johan Cruijff ArenA, Amsterdam, Netherlands
22 – King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium
29 – Stade De France, Paris, France

4 – Øresundsparken, Copenhagen, Denmark
10 – Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden
20 – Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland
25 – PGE Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland

1 – Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria
10 – Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany
16 – Letzigrund Stadion, Zurich, Switzerland
23 – Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt, Germany

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