The UK’s most-streamed songs may surprise you | All Charts News - breaking news english

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Queen, Miley Cyrus and EminemImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Queen, Miley Cyrus and Eminem were among 2018’s most-streamed songs

When it was released in 2010, Foster The People’s indie-pop anthem Pumped Up Kicks became a moderate hit, reaching number 18 in the UK charts.

But the LA band’s debut single is enjoying a second lease of life on streaming services.

Last year, it was the UK’s most-streamed song of all the records released in 2010, beating hits like Lady Gaga’s Telephone and Cee-Lo’s Forget You, which outsold it at the time.

Pumped Up Kicks was played 21 million times last year, according to the BPI, which has revealed the UK’s most-streamed songs based on the year they first came out.

The recording industry body said 90 billion songs were streamed in the UK last year, an increase of 33.5% from 2017.

The data highlighted how songs like Pumped Up Kicks can grow in stature after their release.

AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and Miley Cyrus’s Party In The USA top the streaming charts for 1990 and 2009 respectively, even though they didn’t trouble the top 20 at the time.

“It’s a process of songs gathering momentum as time goes on,” said Rob Crutchley of the BPI, who compiled the figures.

“A few of those tracks have featured in TV programmes and films, which helps push them over the edge in terms of gaining even more mass popularity, as new audiences become exposed to them.”

Queen were notable beneficiaries of this boost in 2018 following the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Don’t Stop Me Now became the most-streamed song from 1978; while Bohemian Rhapsody (the song) was the most-played track from the entire 1970s, overtaking Earth Wind & Fire’s September.

The Spinners’ Rubberband Man enjoyed a surge in popularity after its use in Avengers: Infinity War, as did Pat Benatar’s We Belong, which featured in Deadpool 2.

Even older films can have a halo effect – with Daryl Hall & John Oates’ You Make My Dreams becoming 1980’s biggest song thanks to its use in the 2009 rom-com 500 Days of Summer.

At the same time, some of pop’s biggest artists are missing from the BPI’s chart – with no entries for the Beatles, Abba, Madonna or David Bowie.

Most-streamed songs 1990 – 2018
YearArtistSong2018 streams (million)
2018DrakeGod’s Plan147.4
2017Keala Settle/Greatest Showman castThis Is Me114.7
2016Bruno MarsFinesse54.7
2015SiaCheap Thrills26.5
2014Ed SheeranThinking Out Loud30.6
2013George EzraBudapest31.3
2012PassengerLet Her Go22.5
2011Macklemore & Ryan LewisCan’t Hold Us26.3
2010Foster the PeoplePumped Up Kicks21.0
2009Miley CyrusParty In The USA18.0
2008Jason MrazI’m Yours26.9
2007Arctic MonkeysFluorescent Adolescent22.7
2006The KooksNaive26.9
2005Kanye West ft Jamie FoxxGold Digger21.2
2004MarioLet Me Love You19.0
2003The KillersMr Brightside46.9
2002EminemLose Yourself23.6
2001NickelbackHow You Remind Me11.4
2000Linkin ParkIn The End16.8
1999TLCNo Scrubs22.6
1998Goo Goo DollsIris20.1
1997The VerveBittersweet Symphony17.5
1996Blackstreet ft Dr DreNo Diggity17.9
1995OasisWonderwall34.1
1994Mariah CareyAll I Want For Christmas Is You39.0
1993The CranberriesLinger9.7
1992RadioheadCreep10.1
1991NirvanaSmells Like Teen Spirit18.6
1990AC/DCThunderstruck12.7

Elsewhere, Christmas songs continued to be popular, with Wham’s Last Christmas and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You scoring huge streaming numbers.

Other tracks simply lingered in people’s minds, long after contemporary hits faded.

Naïve by The Kooks has been riding high for the three years we’ve compiled these statistics,” said Crutchley.

“The album it’s from sold a lot of copies and they’ve still got a big, hardcore fanbase – but it’s only becoming apparent now what a cult hit that song’s turned into.

“And sometimes that’s what this is about, I think. Songs can be rediscovered and gain momentum a bit later on.”

Crutchley added the availability of once-obscure songs on streaming services could even rescue artists from the dustbin of history.

“Do you remember Maniac by Michael Sembello? It was in the film Flashdance but it never charted in the UK top 40. Now it’s getting more than four million streams a year.

“So if you’re embedded in history in some little way, there’s a chance people will go back and discover your music. You’re there for posterity in some ways.”

Most-streamed songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s
YearArtistSong2018 Streams (million)
1989The Stone RosesWaterfall8.2
1988Tracy ChapmanFast Car14.3
1987The Pogues ft Kirsty MacCollFairytale of New York29.4
1986Chris ReaDriving Home for Christmas19.8
1985Shakin’ StevensMerry Christmas Everyone21.0
1984Wham!Last Christmas34.4
1983EurythmicsSweets Dream (Are Made of This)21.5
1982TotoAfrica32.1
1981JourneyDon’t Stop Believin’24.3
1980Daryl Hall & John OatesYou Make My Dreams24.8
1979Paul McCartneyWonderful Christmas Time15.9
1978QueenDon’t Stop Me Now25.4
1977ELOMr Blue Sky26.7
1976Fleetwood MacGo Your Own Way20.1
1975QueenBohemian Rhapsody29.8
1974Lynyrd SkynyrdSweet Home Alabama14.9
1973Elton JohnStep Into Christmas21.6
1972Stevie WonderSuperstition19.5
1971John DenverTake Me Home Country Roads16.5
1970Elton JohnYour Song12.5
1969The Jackson 5I Want You Back20.4
1968Otis Redding(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay11.2
1967Marvin Gaye & Tammi TerrellAin’t No Mountain High Enough18.3
1966The Rolling StonesPaint It Black9.9
1965The Four TopsI Can’t Help Myself8.7
1964The TemptationsMy Girl12.5
1963Andy WilliamsIt’s The Most Wonderful Time12.3
1962Sam CookeBring It On Home to Me5.1
1961Ben E KingStand By Me16.2
1960Etta JamesAt Last6.8

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