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Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music round up 2021

By | Published on Thursday 2 December 2021

Olivia Rodrigo

It’s December, so it’s finally time to start celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. That’s right, lists. If you’ve spent longer than three seconds on social media in the last eighteen hours, you’ll know that Spotify has launched its annual Wrapped campaign and all the general and personalised stats and charts that involves. Meanwhile, YouTube has revealed this year’s most-viewed music videos on the platform within the UK, and Apple has handed out its annual music awards.

Spotify users may now be trying to work out what a musical aura is (mine is “wistful and confident”), but it seems that for much of the rest of the year they’ve mainly been focussing hard on listening to Bad Bunny. He being the platform’s most-streamed artist this year, topping the list for the second year running. He didn’t score the most-streamed song though. He didn’t even get into the top five.

No, tracks-wise, this year, everyone was listening to ‘Drivers License’ by Olivia Rodrigo. Meanwhile, the most-streamed album was Olivia Rodrigo again, with ‘Sour’. Though special mention to Ed Sheeran, whose ‘=’ album made it to number four, despite only being out for about 23 seconds.

Now, how about these music videos? As you have no doubt guessed, the most popular one on YouTube within the UK this year was ‘Body 2′ by Tion Wayne and Russ Millions, featuring Arrdee, 3x3E! & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo and Buni. The original version of the same track also made it to number seven in the overall YouTube chart – both featuring on the GRM Daily channel, making them the only videos in the top ten not uploaded to an artists’ own channel.

Finally, we come to the Apple Music Awards, which were actually announced on 30 Nov, thus ruining my set up in the first paragraph of this article. No, don’t go back and read it. It’s an embarrassing chapter in CMU’s history I would rather move on from.

Apple’s awards are different to the Spotify and YouTube lists, because they’re not just based on popularity. “Winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple Music’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are listening to the most”, says Apple.

What does that mean? Well, it means that Olivia Rodrigo won almost everything. Breakthrough Artist, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year – all hers. The Weeknd was name Global Artist Of The Year though. And Songwriter Of The Year was HER.

This year, Apple also added a number of regional and country-specific artist awards. And I won’t make you hang around waiting to find out who got the most important of those prizes. You’ll be pleased to know that Aya Nakamura is this year’s Artist Of The Year from France. What? They didn’t do a UK one.

Anyway, for all you people who like looking at lists, here are some lists…


Most streamed artists globally

1. Bad Bunny
2. Taylor Swift
3. BTS
4. Drake
5. Justin Bieber

Most streamed songs globally

1. Olivia Rodrigo – Drivers License
2. Lil Nas X – Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
3. The Kid Laroi – Stay (feat Justin Bieber)
4. Olivia Rodrigo – Good For U
5. Dua Lipa – Levitating (feat DaBaby)

Most streamed albums globally

1. Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
2. Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
3. Justin Bieber – Justice
4. Ed Sheeran – =
5. Doja Cat – Planet Her


Most viewed videos in the UK

1. Tion Wayne and Russ Millions – Body 2 (feat Arrdee, 3x3E! & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo and Buni)
2. Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits
3. The Weeknd – Save Your Tears
4. Olivia Rodrigo – Good For U
5. Lil Nas X – Montero (Call Me By Your Name)
6. Olivia Rodrigo – Drivers License
7. Russ Millions and Tion Wayne – Body
8. Dave – Clash (feat Stormzy)
9. Central Cee – Commitment Issues
10. Anne-Marie, KSI and Digital Farm Animals – Don’t Play


Global Artist Of The Year: The Weeknd
Breakthrough Artist Of The Year: Olivia Rodrigo
Album Of The Year: Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
Song Of The Year: Olivia Rodrigo – Drivers License
Songwriter Of The Year: HER
Artist Of The Year (Africa): Wizkid
Artist Of The Year (France): Aya Nakamura
Artist Of The Year (Germany) Rin
Artist Of The Year (Japan): Official Hige Dandism
Artist Of The Year (Russia): Scriptonite

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