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.
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.
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.
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
|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|
|7||STAY||KID LAROI & JUSTIN BIEBER||2|
|8||HEAT WAVES||GLASS ANIMALS||5|
|10||BODY||TION WAYNE & RUSS MILLIONS||1|
|11||WELLERMAN||NATHAN EVANS/220KID/BILLEN TED||1|
|12||EASY ON ME||ADELE||1|
|14||KISS ME MORE||DOJA CAT FT SZA||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|
|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|
|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
|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|
|8||STAY||KID LAROI & JUSTIN BIEBER|
|9||HEAT WAVES||GLASS ANIMALS|
|11||HEAD & HEART||JOEL CORRY FT MNEK|
|12||KISS ME MORE||DOJA CAT FT SZA|
|14||EASY ON ME||ADELE|
|15||WITHOUT YOU||KID LAROI|
|16||WELLERMAN||NATHAN EVANS/220KID/BILLEN TED|
|18||BED||JOEL CORRY/RAYE/DAVID GUETTA|
|19||LATEST TRENDS||A1 & J1|
|21||LITTLE BIT OF LOVE||TOM GRENNAN|
|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|
|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|
|35||MOOD||24KGOLDN FT IANN DIOR|
|37||GOOSEBUMPS||TRAVIS SCOTT & HVME|
|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
|1||BAD HABITS||ED SHEERAN|
|2||SAUSAGE ROLLS FOR EVERYONE||LADBABY FT SHEERAN/ELTON JOHN|
|3||COLD HEART||ELTON JOHN & DUA LIPA|
|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|
|13||LET'S GO HOME TOGETHER||ELLA HENDERSON & TOM GRENNAN|
|14||LITTLE BIT OF LOVE||TOM GRENNAN|
|16||ANYWHERE AWAY FROM HERE||RAG'N'BONE MAN & PINK|
|17||DRIVERS LICENSE||OLIVIA RODRIGO|
|19||HEARTBREAK ANTHEM||GALANTIS/GUETTA/LITTLE MIX|
|21||RASPUTIN||MAJESTIC & BONEY M|
|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|
|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|
|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|