Lewis Capaldi has been crowned the new “king of streaming” after overtaking Ed Sheeran for the most streamed song of all time.
The singer’s No.1 single Someone You Loved has surpassed Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You to become the UK’s official most streamed song of all time, with 562 million streams to its name – a combination of 480 million audio streams and 81 million video streams.
To date only Capaldi’s Someone You Loved, as well as Sheeran’s Shape Of You and Perfect, have topped 500 million lifetime streams, with only seven tracks topping 400 million lifetime streams.
The track with most audio streams to its name is Shape Of You at 502 million, with the most streamed video Baby Shark by Pinkfong with 220 million.
The news comes the UK’s Official Singles Chart celebrates its 70th birthday.
Responding his new title, the Scots singer said: “I’m the streaming king! In the UK! On this particular song! I feel huge, I feel massive, I feel my loins expanding as I become more and more aware of the reality of my coronation as the king of music. Thank you. A very large accolade that I will now shoulder for the rest of my life, or until Ed Sheeran releases his next album.”
Comparing his musical achievement to icons who have gone before him, Lewis said: “Listen, The Beatles, Drake, Metallica, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, don’t worry guys, no hard feelings, I just had to take this one. Take a step back and let Daddy steer the ship now, ok?”
On overtaking previous all-time streaming record holder Sheeran, he added: “Ed’s a man who is like a brother to me, he’s been a mentor, he’s put his arm round me and said don’t worry everything’s going to be ok. He gave us the honour of supporting him on the closing shows of the Divide tour, he’s been nothing but kind and gracious and beautiful, a good friend in an ever-changing industry. So to Ed I say ‘EAT MY SH*T’! That’s what happens…nice guys finish last. You snooze you lose, kiddo. Keep up!”
New research compiled in honour of the charts reaching the milestone birthday, reveals the British public purchased 4.55 billion singles and generated 811 billion streams of songs during the chart’s lifetime.
Elton John’s Candle In The Wind ‘97 retains the title of the best-selling single of all time with 4.94 million.
Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off becomes the latest – and potentially one of the last ever – million sellers, as streaming now accounts for 98.6% of the UK singles market.
The number of streams required to hit a No.1 in 2022 was an average of 6.82 million.
The new all-time statistical survey, based on Offical Charts Company data, spans seven decades of music.
The very first UK singles chart was published in the New Musical Express on November 14, 1952.
The results were compiled from a rudimentary survey of 20 record shops by the music paper’s advertising manager Percy Dickins.
In the decades that followed, the Official Singles Chart has become an institution of the music industry, offering a weekly chronicle of the musical tastes and cultural moments across Britain.
The charts are now a vast operation polling thousands of physical retailers, digital download stores and streaming platforms on a daily basis with the Official Chart broadcast on BBC Radio 1.
The entries range of Al Martino’s 1952 hit Here In My Heart to Taylor Swift’s reigning chart topping Anti Hero, the new release from the singer’s October 2022 album Midnights.
As well as huge contemporary hits from the likes of George Ezra, Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish, a range of blockbusting earlier classics make the cut too having transcended their original formats to find success in the streaming age, including The Killers’ Mr Brightside, Oasis’ Wonderwall and festive classics from the likes of Mariah Carey and Wham!
The results of the new research paint a picture of the changing musical trends through the decades with sales growing through the 60s, 70s and 80s before the digital music explosion of the early 2000s.
The first legitimate digital download stores took off in 2004 with an extraordinary peak of 1.26 billion sales in the 2010s – the biggest decade in history for singles sales.
Streaming later took over and has reached record levels of music consumption through the late 2010s and 2020s.
At the time of the Official Singles Charts 60th anniversary in 2012, some 123 singles had reached the million mark.
Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot says: “This new survey hammers home just how much music listening and buying the Official Singles Chart has seen across the past eight decades – and just how much music the British public has enjoyed in that time.
“The Official Singles Chart was born just a few months after Queen Elizabeth took the throne, on the day of then Prince Charles’ (now King Charles III) fourth birthday. Since that time, from the era pre-rock and roll right up to the present day, there is barely a facet of life that hasn’t changed – and the Official Singles Chart has been there to chronicle it all.”
Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi have already begun to put their streaming rivalry behind them for Capaldi’s forthcoming new album Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent, with Sheeran listed as a co-writer on the track Pointless.
The album is due to be released in May 2023.
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