Music licensing company PPL has produced a Top 15 chart of the most-played Scottish artists of the 21st century on UK radio and TV to celebrate Scotland’s contribution to the UK music industry.
Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum artist Calvin Harris takes the top spot in the chart off the back of an array of global hits over the past 12 years. Cumulatively, he has received the equivalent of five years’ worth of continuous UK radio and TV airplay in the 21st century and, on average, a recording by or featuring Calvin Harris is played every six minutes in the UK.
PPL’s specialist Repertoire team found that the Scottish star’s top three most-played tracks in the 21st century are ‘We Found Love’ (Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris), ‘This is What You Came For’ (featuring Rihanna) and ‘How Deep is Your Love’ (Calvin Harris and Disciples). Since its release in 2011, ‘We Found Love’ has been played on UK TV and radio for 5,000 hours in total.
Other acts featured in PPL’s Top 15 include longstanding Glaswegian outfit Texas (number two) who have had a 29-year recording career beginning in 1989 with their debut single ‘I Don’t Want A Lover’ – also their most-played track on UK TV and radio in the 21st century. 1997’s ‘Say What You Want’ and 2001’s ‘Inner Smile’ are the band’s second and third most-played tracks respectively. Emeli Sandé, who was raised in Aberdeenshire, comes in at number three with her most-played song being ‘Next To Me’.
Lulu, born in Stirlingshire, and with a recording career that began in the early 1960s, is at number four. Her top three most-played tracks in the 21st century are cover versions of David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, The Isley Brothers’ ‘Shout’ and Neil Diamond’s ‘The Boat That I Row’. Travis complete the top five, with their single ‘Why Does It Always Rain on Me?’ being their most-played track.
At a glance Calvin Harris statistics
• Calvin Harris has enjoyed the equivalent of five years’ worth of continuous TV and radio airplay of his recordings in the UK in the 21st century.
• His top three most-played tracks are ‘We Found Love’, ‘This Is What You Came For’ and ‘How Deep Is Your Love’.
• On average, a recording by or featuring Calvin Harris is broadcast every six minutes in the UK.
• ‘We Found Love’ has been played in the UK for over 5,000 hours in total since its release in 2011.
The most-played Scottish artists of the 21st century:
1.) Calvin Harris
3.) Emeli Sandé
6.) Wet Wet Wet
7.) Deacon Blue
8.) KT Tunstall
9.) Paolo Nutini
10.) Primal Scream
11.) Simple Minds
12.) Annie Lennox
13.) The Fratellis
14.) Franz Ferdinand
15.) Biffy Clyro
*Based on PPL UK radio and TV airplay data from 2000 to 2017
PPL licenses recorded music in the UK when it is played in public or broadcast on radio and TV, and then works to ensure that the revenue collected flows back to the performers and record labels it represents. PPL recognises the talent that Scotland produces and the impact those artists have on a global scale. Recently to support this, PPL sponsored the annual Wide Days music industry convention in Edinburgh (19 – 20 April) and will return to Paisley to support the Scottish Album of the Year (‘SAY Award’) later in 2018.
Calvin Harris commented: “It’s an incredible honour to be named the most played Scottish artist of the 21st century alongside so many great acts.”
Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL commented: “The Scottish chart that we have produced shows an incredible and diverse array of talent spanning several decades. Calvin Harris deserves great credit for his music proving so popular and being played so extensively throughout the UK.
Scotland has been an important area of focus for PPL for many years and this is why we continue to support events such as Wide Days and the annual SAY Award. Creatively, Scotland is well-known for musical talent and this is demonstrated by the gravitas of some of the names included in our most-played chart. Many congratulations to Calvin Harris for being named number one.”
The most-played Scottish artist chart is based on PPL data from UK radio and TV broadcasters covering the period from 2000 to 2017 and focuses on Scottish solo artists or groups with significant Scottish heritage. Both the number of plays and total played duration are used to rank the tracks in the chart.