PPL licenses the use of recorded music for UK radio, television and public venues and receives extensive airplay reports from broadcasters and venues. This information is used to ensure that performers and recording rights holders are paid when their music is used. Produced annually using this unique data, PPL’s most played charts offer a unique perspective on how recorded music is used by broadcasters and companies across the UK.
Sheeran shakes after perfect performance
Ed Sheeran has topped the Most Played Artists chart for the sixth time in eight years, continuing his staggering run since 2015. Only Dua Lipa’s success in 2020 has prevented her from winning every song since 2017. The singer-songwriter, based in 2012, first entered the top five of her charts as the most played artist in 2012, releasing a groundbreaking album that year. His 2022 success reflects the overwhelming popularity of his 2021 album and the enduring appeal of his back catalog of hits.
In recent years, few artists have matched Ed Sheeran’s success over several years on the PPL’s Most Played Artists chart of the year. From 2012, when Sheeran first appeared on the Most Played Artists chart, only Coldplay, his ninth Top 10 hit this year, remains.
Elton John and Becky Hill have each entered the top 20 in 2021, marking the first time that both have entered the top 10 of the Most Played Artists chart.
This year’s results reaffirm the strength of the UK’s music industry’s creative output, with UK artists dominating the top 10 most played artists charts. Eight of the artists are from the UK: Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Elton John, George Ezra, Coldplay, Calvin Harris and Becky Hill. Among foreign artists, David Guetta came in at No. 3, while Taylor Swift from Pennsylvania rounded out the list at No. 10.
Most played artists in 2022
1. Ed Sheeran
2. Dua Lipa
3. David Guetta
4. Harry Styles
5. Elton John
6. George Ezra
8. Calvin Harris
9. Becky Hill
10. Taylor Swift
Ed Sheeran, the most played artist of 2022, said:
“Thank you to everyone who continues to listen to and enjoy my music. Never take it for granted.”
A golden year for Harry
In the UK, the most-played song of the year was Harry Styles’ “As It Was,” beating out the challenge of Lizzo’s smash hit “About Dumb Time.” Harry’s vulnerable vocals and earworm-like synth hook became a global hit, reaching No. 1 in his 39 countries, including the UK, US and Germany. This is the second time Harry has been featured on the ‘Most Played Song’ chart since 2020’s ‘Adore You’ reached No. 5.
Most played songs in 2022
1. As It Was Harry Styles
2. “About Dumb Time” by Lizzo
3. Where Have You Been? by Jax Jones & MNEK
4. Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) Elton John and Dua Lipa
5. Anybody For You (Tiger Lily) George Ezra
6. Where Are You Now by Lost Frequency, Callum Scott
7. Green Green Grass George Ezra
8. Overpass graffiti by Ed Sheeran
9. Shivers by Ed Sheeran
10. Crazy What Love Can Do David Guetta, Becky Hill, Ella Henderson