Ed Sheeran most-played artist in Britain last year

Singer Ed Sheeran is Britain's most-played artist for the third time in four years.
Singer Ed Sheeran is Britain's most-played artist for the third time in four years.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • If you were in Britain last year and switched on the radio, you might have wondered if many of the stations' decision-makers were Ed Sheeran fans, given the frequency of his songs.

Now, confirmation is out that the singer was indeed the most-played artist in Britain last year.

According to music-royalty body PPL, which tracks the music spun on television and radio as well as in pubs and clubs, Sheeran achieved the feat despite not releasing any new music.

But the Perfect singer, with his vast catalogue of hits, ensured that he did not go missing on air.

Indeed, he has held on to the accolade of Britain's most-played artist for the third time in four years.

The PPL said nine of the top 10 most-played artists are British, with only Pink flying the flag for the United States. The other artists in the top five are Calvin Harris, Little Mix, Rita Ora and Coldplay, in descending order.

But not one of Sheeran's songs managed to feature in the list of most-played songs.

That ranking was headed by Feel It Still by Portugal The Man.

These Days (by Rudimental & Jess Glynne), For You (Liam Payne & Rita Ora), One Kiss (Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa) and Shotgun (George Ezra) occupied the No. 2 to 5 spots.

In this category, Pink once again did the US proud, with her song, What About Us, at No. 10, making the top 10 for a second year in a row.

She repeated a feat achieved only once before, by Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger in 2011 and 2012.

But if any artist feels the top 10 lists are out of reach, consider that Sheeran was once an unknown too.

He recently posted a photo that showed him performing to just one person - a toddler - at a music festival when he was 15.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2019, with the headline 'Ed Sheeran most-played artist in Britain last year'. Print Edition | Subscribe