The Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2021

The UK's top hits of 2021 featuring Ed Sheeran, Olivia Rodrigo, Tion Wayne & Russ Millions, Glass Animals, Dua Lipa and more.

The UK's official biggest song of 2021 was Ed Sheeran's Bad Habits, the Official Charts Company can confirm. 

The UK superstar's comeback single, taken from chart-topping album =, shifted chart sales in excess of 1.7 million in 2021, comprising 204 million streams and 142,000 sales. Bad Habits was the longest-running Number 1 of the year, spending a total of 11 weeks at the top of the Official Singles Chart. It was Ed's tenth Number 1 and the first of four chart toppers for the singer/songwriter this in 2021. See Ed Sheeran's full chart history.

Ed's mammoth streaming numbers also reflect a change in the way the UK public is consuming music; with new BPI analysis of Official Charts Company data revealing that recorded music consumption rose by 2.5% in 2021, lead by over 147 billion streams, a rise of 5.7% on 2020.

MORE: The Official Top 40 biggest albums of 2020

Streaming now accounts for well over four-fifths (83.1%) of all UK music consumption, with people of all ages discovering and enjoying the music they love through the format’s seamless connectivity. In June 2021 the UK witnessed its first week when audio streams topped the 3 billion mark – a feat since repeated three times in December. 

180 artists achieved more than 100 million streams in the UK over the past 12 months, and nearly 2,000 artists saw their songs streamed at least 10 million times. Chart fact - typically a track needs to achieve over 1.4million audio streams in a single week to break into the Official Singles Chart Top 40.  

At Number 2 is Olivia Rodrigo with her bratty break-up anthem Good 4 U, with 1.39m chart sales including 167m streams since its release in May. Olivia also takes third place in our year-end list with her debut single Drivers License, which has been streamed nearly 156m times. Drivers License set a new chart record upon its release in January, claiming the UK’s highest number of streams ever in a single day for a non-Christmas song. The track racked up 2.407m streams in 24 hours on Tuesday, January 12.


Chart double! Olivia Rodrigo pictured with her Number 1 Awards for Good 4 U and Sour.

Both Good 4 U and Drivers License are taken from Olivia's chart-topping debut album Sour. Olivia rewrote chart history earlier this year when she became the youngest solo artist in history to claim the Official UK Chart Double, at age 18 years and 3 months. See where all Olivia Rodrigo's singles charted in the UK.

Olivia also ties with Ed for the most entries in the biggest songs of 2021; both earning three. Olivia has one further entry down the chart with the wistful Deja Vu at Number 32, while Ed's chart-topper Shivers is at Number 15, and 2017 single Perfect at Number 35.

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Other acts with multiple entries in the Top 40 include The Weeknd with Save Your Tears (4) and Blinding Lights (9), Dua Lipa's Levitating (6) and Cold Heart (Pnau Remix) with Elton John (21) and Lil Nas X with the scorching Montero (Call Me By Your Name) (5) and Industry Baby (32) and Joel Corry with last year's Head & Heart with MNEK (17) and Bed with Raye (18). 

2021's fastest-selling singles

Adele not only managed to scoop the UK's top album of 2021, she left a dramatic impact on the singles front too - walking away with the biggest opening week of the year after Easy On Me debuted on the Official Singles Chart with over 217,000 chart sales across its first seven days.

The 2021 Christmas Number 1 from LadBaby, Ed Sheeran and Elton John also delivered the goods at lightning speed exactly when it mattered, Sausage Rolls For Everyone scored the second biggest opening week of 2021 in December with 136,000 units - it's the second most-downloaded song of the year too.

Breakout hits

While Oxfordshire group Glass Animals found chart success with viral hit Heatwave this year (8), Tion Wayne and Russ Millions put UK drill on the map back in April when Body became the first drill track to hit Number 1. Body also earns a Top 10 placing in the end-of-year chart (10).


Tion Wayne and Russ Millions celebrate the UK's first Drill Number 1 - Body.

TikTok viral star Nathan Evans sailed sea shanty Wellerman all the way to Number 1 in March before mooring up as one of the UK's top tracks of 2021 (11). It was a good year also for Australian rapper Kid Laroi who broke through with two Top 10 singles, both of which make the end-of-year Top 20 - Stay (7) and Without You (19).

DJ Jonasu's summer tune Black Magic bags a place at Number 22, and duo A1xJ1 who met digitally during lockdown and secured their first Top 10 single this year with Latest Trends (25).

In contrast, the oldest track to make the end-of-year cut is Wham's perennial festive favourite Last Christmas (34), the song broke Official Chart records on 1 January, when it finally landed at the top of the chart some 36 years after its release - the longest time ever taken for a single to reach Number 1

MORE: Official Charts' Artists To Watch in 2022 

Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2021

Position Title Artist Peak
1 BAD HABITS ED SHEERAN 1
2 GOOD 4 U OLIVIA RODRIGO 1
3 DRIVERS LICENSE OLIVIA RODRIGO 1
4 SAVE YOUR TEARS WEEKND 2
5 MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME) LIL NAS X 1
6 LEVITATING DUA LIPA 5
7 STAY KID LAROI & JUSTIN BIEBER 2
8 HEAT WAVES GLASS ANIMALS 5
9 BLINDING LIGHTS WEEKND 1
10 BODY TION WAYNE & RUSS MILLIONS 1
11 WELLERMAN NATHAN EVANS/220KID/BILLEN TED 1
12 EASY ON ME ADELE 1
13 FRIDAY RITON/NIGHTCRAWLERS/MUFASA 4
14 KISS ME MORE DOJA CAT FT SZA 3
15 SHIVERS ED SHEERAN 1
16 THE BUSINESS TIESTO 3
17 HEAD & HEART JOEL CORRY FT MNEK 1
18 BED JOEL CORRY/RAYE/DAVID GUETTA 3
19 WITHOUT YOU KID LAROI 2
20 LITTLE BIT OF LOVE TOM GRENNAN 7
21 COLD HEART ELTON JOHN & DUA LIPA 1
22 BLACK MAGIC JONASU 3
23 PEACHES JUSTIN BIEBER/CAESAR/GIVEON 2
24 HEARTBREAK ANTHEM GALANTIS/GUETTA/LITTLE MIX 3
25 LET'S GO HOME TOGETHER ELLA HENDERSON & TOM GRENNAN 10
26 LATEST TRENDS A1 & J1 2
27 REMEMBER BECKY HILL & DAVID GUETTA 3
28 DON'T PLAY ANNE-MARIE/KSI/DIGITAL FARM 2
29 YOUR LOVE (9PM) ATB/TOPIC/A7S 8
30 SOMEONE YOU LOVED LEWIS CAPALDI 1
31 GOOSEBUMPS TRAVIS SCOTT & HVME 8
32 DEJA VU OLIVIA RODRIGO 4
33 MR BRIGHTSIDE KILLERS 10
34 LAST CHRISTMAS WHAM 1
35 PERFECT ED SHEERAN 1
36 PARADISE MEDUZA & DERMOT KENNEDY 5
37 ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU MARIAH CAREY 1
38 DANCE MONKEY TONES & I 1
39 GET OUT MY HEAD SHANE CODD 6
40 I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE MANESKIN 5

©2022 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
This chart is compiled using sales and streaming equivalent sales combined.

Official Top 40 most-streamed songs of 2021

Position Title Artist
1 BAD HABITS ED SHEERAN
2 GOOD 4 U OLIVIA RODRIGO
3 DRIVERS LICENSE OLIVIA RODRIGO
4 SAVE YOUR TEARS WEEKND
5 MONTERO (CALL ME BY YOUR NAME) LIL NAS X
6 BODY TION WAYNE & RUSS MILLIONS
7 LEVITATING DUA LIPA
8 STAY KID LAROI & JUSTIN BIEBER
9 HEAT WAVES GLASS ANIMALS
10 BLINDING LIGHTS WEEKND
11 HEAD & HEART JOEL CORRY FT MNEK
12 KISS ME MORE DOJA CAT FT SZA
13 FRIDAY RITON/NIGHTCRAWLERS/MUFASA
14 EASY ON ME ADELE
15 WITHOUT YOU KID LAROI
16 WELLERMAN NATHAN EVANS/220KID/BILLEN TED
17 THE BUSINESS TIESTO
18 BED JOEL CORRY/RAYE/DAVID GUETTA
19 LATEST TRENDS A1 & J1
20 SHIVERS ED SHEERAN
21 LITTLE BIT OF LOVE TOM GRENNAN
22 BLACK MAGIC JONASU
23 PEACHES JUSTIN BIEBER/CAESAR/GIVEON
24 COLD HEART ELTON JOHN & DUA LIPA
25 SOMEONE YOU LOVED LEWIS CAPALDI
26 DON'T PLAY ANNE-MARIE/KSI/DIGITAL FARM
27 HEARTBREAK ANTHEM GALANTIS/GUETTA/LITTLE MIX
28 PERFECT ED SHEERAN
29 CALLING MY PHONE LIL TJAY & 6LACK
30 REMEMBER BECKY HILL & DAVID GUETTA
31 LET'S GO HOME TOGETHER ELLA HENDERSON & TOM GRENNAN
32 INDUSTRY BABY LIL NAS X & JACK HARLOW
33 DANCE MONKEY TONES & I
34 BABY SHARK PINKFONG
35 MOOD 24KGOLDN FT IANN DIOR
36 MR BRIGHTSIDE KILLERS
37 GOOSEBUMPS TRAVIS SCOTT & HVME
38 RAPSTAR POLO G
39 ASTRONAUT IN THE OCEAN MASKED WOLF
40 YOUR LOVE (9PM) ATB/TOPIC/A7S

©2022 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Official Top 40 best-selling songs of 2021

Position Title Artist
1 BAD HABITS ED SHEERAN
2 SAUSAGE ROLLS FOR EVERYONE LADBABY FT SHEERAN/ELTON JOHN
3 COLD HEART ELTON JOHN & DUA LIPA
4 SHIVERS ED SHEERAN
5 WELLERMAN NATHAN EVANS/220KID/BILLEN TED
6 EASY ON ME ADELE
7 MY UNIVERSE COLDPLAY & BTS
8 MERRY CHRISTMAS ED SHEERAN & ELTON JOHN
9 SAVE YOUR TEARS WEEKND
10 OVERPASS GRAFFITI ED SHEERAN
11 BORIS JOHNSON IS STILL A F**KING C**T K**TS
12 FRIDAY RITON/NIGHTCRAWLERS/MUFASA
13 LET'S GO HOME TOGETHER ELLA HENDERSON & TOM GRENNAN
14 LITTLE BIT OF LOVE TOM GRENNAN
15 BLACK MAGIC JONASU
16 ANYWHERE AWAY FROM HERE RAG'N'BONE MAN & PINK
17 DRIVERS LICENSE OLIVIA RODRIGO
18 THE BUSINESS TIESTO
19 HEARTBREAK ANTHEM GALANTIS/GUETTA/LITTLE MIX
20 HIGHER POWER COLDPLAY
21 RASPUTIN MAJESTIC & BONEY M
22 BLINDING LIGHTS WEEKND
23 ALL YOU EVER WANTED RAG'N'BONE MAN
24 GOOD 4 U OLIVIA RODRIGO
25 BED JOEL CORRY/RAYE/DAVID GUETTA
26 BY YOUR SIDE CALVIN HARRIS FT TOM GRENNAN
27 BUTTER BTS
28 REMEMBER BECKY HILL & DAVID GUETTA
29 OUR SONG ANNE-MARIE & NIALL HORAN
30 TALK ABOUT RAIN RADIO/DJ CRAIG GORMAN
31 LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN SILK SONIC/BRUNO MARS/PAAK
32 SWEET CAROLINE NEIL DIAMOND
33 STAY KID LAROI & JUSTIN BIEBER
34 LEAVE BEFORE YOU LOVE ME MARSHMELLO/JONAS BROTHERS
35 LEVITATING DUA LIPA
36 STARSTRUCK YEARS & YEARS
37 GET OUT MY HEAD SHANE CODD
38 3 LIONS BADDIEL/SKINNER/LIGHTNING SEED
39 JERUSALEMA MASTER KG FT NOMCEBO ZIKODE
40 BETTER DAYS DERMOT KENNEDY