- 09 Jun 21
Dua Lipa is the first woman to top PPL's most-played chart since Katy Perry in 2014.
The reign of Ed Sheeran since 2017 on UK radio has finally ended, with Dua Lipa's infectious sophomore album Future Nostalgia earning the pop star's new crown.
Lipa's songs were played more than anyone else's on UK radio and television last year, thanks to her Grammy Award-winning second album.
'Physical' and 'Don't Start Now' were both listed among the 10 most popular songs on the UK airwaves.
The most-played track overall was The Weeknd's 'Blinding Lights', unsurprisingly.
The figures were compiled by music licensing company PPL, which monitors the music played on TV and radio and in pubs and clubs.
It said Sheeran was the year's second most-played artist - despite his break from the industry aside from 'Afterglow' last December - followed by Ariana Grande and Sam Smith.
Future Nostalgia was released four days into the UK's first lockdown last March, with Lipa questioning her decision on numerous accounts.
"I've been a little bit conflicted about whether it's the right thing to do during this time because lots of people are suffering," she said at the time.
The album proved to be the soundtrack of quarantine, with its exhilarating disco anthems providing the perfect antidote to the isolation and general hardship.
"It was such a tricky decision but some things are just meant to be," the 25-year-old told the BBC at the time. "I'm just grateful that it served as a form of escapism during this time.
"My whole idea was to create a fun world for people to enjoy even when they're at home - and I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to do that."
Future Nostalgia went on to become the best-selling release of 2020 in the UK, winning album of the year at the Brit Awards and Best Pop Record at the esteemed Grammy Awards.
She also snagged the esteemed Best New Artist Grammy Award in 2019, won by Billie Eilish in 2020 and Megan Thee Stallion in 2021.
The energetic star is reportedly hard at work on her third album, which should be no mean feat.
"She was talking about album number three when we barely had number two done," said Joe Kentish, her record label boss, in a recent interview.
"You're half-expecting that she might want to take a break or go about things differently but she's like 'Right, what's next?'
"Her interests, her knowledge, her thirst to learn new things and to be in control of what she does just grows and grows."
Most Played Artists of 2020 in the UK:
1. Dua Lipa
2. Ed Sheeran
3. Ariana Grande
4. Sam Smith
5. Calvin Harris
6. Little Mix
8. Justin Bieber
9. Maroon 5
10. The Weeknd