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British talent dominates with 7 out of 10 of the most played acts from the UK 
‘Flowers’ by Miley Cyrus named the most played song of 2023 

 
Today, PPL can reveal that Ed Sheeran has been named the most played artist of 2023, winning the accolade for the seventh time in nine years. It’s the second time the Atlantic Records artist has clocked up three consecutive years as the most played act across radio, TV and in public places. The chart is being announced today to coincide with the PPL Annual General Meeting taking place this afternoon. 
 
PPL licenses the use of recorded music on radio, TV and in public places such as shops, bars, restaurants, gyms, offices and warehouses in the UK and receives extensive airplay reporting from such broadcasters and public performance venues. The organisation used this information to distribute revenue to close to 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders when their music was played publicly and broadcast in 2023. 
 
Ed previously scored a hat-trick between 2017 and 2019, with fellow Warner Music artist Dua Lipa bringing his fantastic run to a close in 2020. Dua Lipa was the third most played artist in the UK in 2023, propelled by the success of ‘Dance The Night’ from the Barbie OST. Taylor Swift jumped from number ten to two in 2023, matching her previous high in 2015. With the Eras tour having landed in the UK this month, it will be all to play for in 2024. 
 
Ed Sheeran said: “Thank you for naming me the most played artist for last year. I want to say thank you to my promotions team, Damian [Christian] and the whole team that works with you. You have consistently done amazing things, not just for me but for all the other artists you work with and I’m happy that you get this recognition - thanks so much and here’s to the next year!” 
 
Coldplay is the only group in the Top 10 and, alongside Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris, has also been the most consistent presence annually in the chart appearing nine times in the last decade. British music continues to dominate with seven out of ten of the most played artists in 2023 being from the UK. Tom Grennan is the newest UK musician to enter the countdown at number eight, jumping from 17 in 2022. And finally, Madonna makes a return to the Top 10, following the launch of the Celebration greatest hits world tour in London last autumn. 
 
Most Played Artist in 2023 
  1. Ed Sheeran 
  2. Taylor Swift 
  3. Dua Lipa 
  4. Calvin Harris 
  5. David Guetta 
  6. Elton John 
  7. Coldplay 
  8. Tom Grennan 
  9. Harry Styles 
  10. Madonna 
Everybody loves Flowers 
Miley Cyrus makes her debut at number 12 in the Most Played Artist chart but steals the midsummer crown with ‘Flowers’ being named the most played song of 2023. As the lead single from her album Endless Summer Vacation, the global smash hit has already topped the sales charts in 37 countries, marking another incredible milestone for Miley.  
 
Ed Sheeran sits at number two with ‘Eyes Closed’, and Lewis Capaldi captures the number three spot with ‘Forget Me’. His song ‘Pointless’ sits just outside the Top 10 at number 11. Swifties will be happy to see ‘Anti-Hero’ is the fourth most played, and ‘Cruel Summer’ sits at nine. Dua Lipa is dancing the night away at five and Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding’s ‘Miracle’ takes the sixth spot – the only collaboration in the Top 10. 
 
P!NK, previously named the most played female artist of the 21st century for National Album Day in 2021, holds steady at seven with ‘Trustfall’. Jonas Brothers’ ‘Waffle House’ takes eighth place and Niall Horan’s ‘Heaven’ is at number ten. 2022’s most played earworm ‘As It Was’ by Harry Styles slides down just outside the Top 10 to number 12. 
 
Most Played Song in 2023  
  1. Flowers 
Miley Cyrus 
  1. Eyes Closed 
Ed Sheeran 
  1. Forget Me 
Lewis Capaldi 
  1. Anti-Hero 
Taylor Swift 
  1. Dance The Night 
Dua Lipa 
  1. Miracle 
Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding 
  1. Trustfall 
P!NK 
  1. Waffle House 
Jonas Brothers 
  1. Cruel Summer 
Taylor Swift 
  1. Heaven 
Niall Horan 
 
Peter Leathem OBE, CEO of PPL, said: “Congratulations to all artists featured this year and especially Ed and Miley on their respective number ones. These exclusive charts provide a snapshot of some of the most popular music being played publicly in the UK. As the global music market gets more competitive, it’s fantastic to see that seven out of the top ten most played acts are British. The charts highlight the important role broadcasters and businesses of all shapes and sizes play in supporting home-grown talent. Thanks to them, we can do our job ensuring performers and recording rightsholders get paid whenever their music is used in public.” 

23 Jul 2024 | Press release

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23 Jul 2024 | Press release

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23 Jul 2024 | Press release

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23 Jul 2024 | Press release

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22 Jul 2024 | Press release

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22 Jul 2024 | Press release

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22 Jul 2024 | Press release

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22 Jul 2024 | Press release

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20 Jul 2024 | Press release

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19 Jul 2024 | Press release

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19 Jul 2024 | Press release

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19 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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18 Jul 2024 | Press release

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17 Jul 2024 | Press release

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23 Jul 2024

  • The frequency factor – when daily just isn’t enough (see Comment)

  • UK Music research shows value of gigs, concerts and festivals to local economies (see Reports)

22 Jul 2024

  • Why would anyone run a festival? (see Features)

19 Jul 2024

  • The illusion of an idea - a scaled-down music industry (see Comment)

18 Jul 2024

  • 14 independent labels launch ORCA think tank (see Comment)

  • Industry responds to King's Speech (see News)

17 Jul 2024

  • UK Music CEO Tom Kiehl addressed the UK Music Summer Party (see News)

  • Official Charts marks 10 years of streaming in the UK’s Official Singles Chart (see Analysis)

16 Jul 2024

  • ERA: Music outpaces video and games in first half of 2024 with sales revenues up 7.9% (see Reports)

15 Jul 2024

  • Singles chart sees 28 weeks without a British voice at the top (see News)

12 Jul 2024

  • Analysts appear divided about Spotify's outlook (see Analysis)

11 Jul 2024

  • Music isn't getting worse, genre is (see Comment)

  • What, more AI principles from the music sector? (see Comment)

10 Jul 2024

  • Universal Music UK announced a significant restructure (see Business)