PPL: Ed Sheeran was the most played artist of 2023 in the UK | Talent

PPL has revealed that Ed Sheeran has been named the most played artist of 2023.

Sheeran has won the title for the seventh time in nine years. It’s the second time the Atlantic Records artist has achieved three consecutive years as the most played act across radio, TV and in public places. 

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 around 165,000 performers and recording rights-holders when their music was played publicly and broadcast in 2023. 

Ed Sheeran previously scored a hat-trick between 2017 and 2019, with fellow Warner Music artist Dua Lipa bringing his run to a close in 2020. 

According to PPL’s figures, Dua Lipa was the third most played artist in the UK in 2023, thanks to the success of Dance The Night from the Barbie OST. 

Taylor Swift jumped from No.10 to No.2 in 2023, matching her previous high in 2015. 

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 are the only group to make the most played Top 10. Alongside Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris, the band have been the most consistent presence annually in the chart, appearing nine times in the last decade. 

British music continued to dominate with seven out of 10 of the most played artists in 2023 being from the UK. 

Tom Grennan was the newest UK act to enter the countdown at No.8, jumping from No.17 in 2022. 

Madonna made a return to the Top 10, following the launch of the Celebration greatest hits world tour in London last autumn. 

Most Played Artists 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

Flowers named most played song of 2023

Miley Cyrus made her debut at No.12 in the Most Played Artist chart. PPL has today confirmed that her huge hit Flowers was named the most played song of 2023. 

Ed Sheeran was at No.2 with Eyes Closed in 2023, and Lewis Capaldi made No.3 with Forget Me. His song Pointless was at No.11. 

Taylor Swift had two entries in the most played Top 10, Anti-Hero at No.4 and Cruel Summer at No.9.

Dua Lipa made No.5 with Dance The Night, while Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding’s Miracle finished at No.6 – the only collaboration in the Top 10. 

Pink, previously named the most played female artist of the 21st century for National Album Day in 2021, was at No.7 with Trustfall. 

2022’s most played song, As It Was by Harry Styles, finished at No.12 last year. 

Most Played Song in 2023

1 Flowers – Miley Cyrus

2 Eyes Closed – Ed Sheeran

3 Forget Me – Lewis Capaldi

4 Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift

5 Dance The Night – Dua Lipa

6 Miracle – Calvin Harris, Ellie Goulding

7 Trustfal – Pink 

8 Waffle House – Jonas Brothers

9 Cruel Summer – Taylor Swift

10 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 rights-holders get paid whenever their music is used in public.” 


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