Ed Sheeran was the UK's most-played artist of 2021, Bad Habits the most-played song

Sheeran does the double-whammy in PPL's annual report, which reveals the most-played artists and tracks across the UK's airwaves.

Ed Sheeran has been announced as the most-played artist of 2021 in the UK, with Bad Habits as the most-played song. 

In a report run by UK music licensing company PPL, Ed pulls ahead of other artists such as Little Mix, Coldplay and Taylor Swift to earn the accolade. This is the fourth time in fifth years Ed has been named the most-played artist in the UK. He replaces Dua Lipa - who was named as the most-played artist of 2020, thanks in large part to the success of second album Future Nostalgia. 

Last year, Ed released his fourth studio album Equals, which was recently named the biggest album of 2022 (so far) and was the second-biggest album of 2021 overall, behind (of course) Adele and 30.

The most-played artists of 2021 in the UK

1. Ed Sheeran
2. David Guetta
3. Dua Lipa
4. Little Mix
5. Coldplay
6. The Weeknd
7. Justin Bieber
8. Calvin Harris
9. Taylor Swift
10. Pink

Ed's big hit of last year, Bad Habits, is also named the most-played track of 2021 across the UK airwaves.

Of course, this doesn't come as a surprise - the Official Charts Company also named Bad Habits the biggest song of 2021 in the UK

Bad Habits beats out several well-known hits too, including Number 1 single Blinding Lights by The Weeknd and comeback tracks from the likes of Coldplay and Miley Cyrus. The artist with the most mentions in the Top 10 is Tom Grennan - capping off an extraordinary breakout album cycle with both one solo single (A Little Bit Of Love) and an A-List collaboration (By Your Side with Calvin Harris).

The most-played songs of 2021 in the UK

1. Ed Sheeran - Bad Habits
2. Calvin Harris featuring Tom Grennan - By Your Side
3. Tom Grennan - Little Bit Of Love
4. The Weeknd - Blinding Lights
5. Coldplay - Higher Power
6. Rag’n’Bone Man - All You Ever Wanted
7. Galantis, David Guetta and Little Mix - Heartbreak Anthem
8. Years & Years - Starstruck
9. Miley Cyrus - Midnight Sky
10. Joel Corry, Raye and David Guetta - Bed