Top 30 Most-Streamed Artists on Spotify (and Their Most-Streamed Songs)
Music streaming has become a way to listen to your favorite acts immediately over multiple platforms and devices. And with billions of users streaming music, it’s easy to tell who are the most popular performers.
Thanks to Spotify for supplying the list of top performers and Wikipedia for statistics, here are the top most-streamed artists on Spotify as of May 2022. We're talking billions of streamed songs per artist.
No. of streams: 15,493,403,112
Most streamed song: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Career highlights: Estimates of their record sales range from 170 million to 300 million. In 1990, Queen received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. Queen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and all four members were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2018, they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Why Queen is one of the most-streamed: You could give dozens of answers here. With Freddie Mercury as one of the great frontmen in history, Queen’s unique line of music was second to none in the music industry. It began with the epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” (popularized even more with the classic scene in “Wayne’s World”), and the hits kept rolling with “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Under Pressure” and “We Will Rock You.” Songs like “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” are still played in sporting events to this day. In 1976 at Hyde Park in London, Queen played a free concert, which drew in 150,000 fans. Plus, Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance goes down as one of the greatest concerts ever. Mercury died in 1991, but the band is still going with Adam Lambert as frontman.
29. Sam Smith
No. of streams: 16,078,555,687
Most streamed song: “Stay With Me”
Career highlights: Smith has four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, American Music Award, Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
Why Sam Smith is one of the most-streamed: Smith rose to stardom in 2012 with Disclosure’s breakthrough single, “Latch,” and he was on his way up the charts in England. Soon, fans in the U.S. began to adore Smith’s unique vocal style. He was actually compared to the likes of Adele, and Mary J. Blige actually thought Smith was a black woman when she first heard him sing. Nevertheless, that voice has earned him sales of more than 30 million albums and, at 30 years old, he has a great future ahead of him.
28. Calvin Harris
No. of streams: 16,687,968,578
Most streamed song: “This Is What You Came For” (ft. Rihanna)
Career highlights: Harris became the first artist to place three songs simultaneously on the top 10 of Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Why Calvin Harris is one of the most-streamed: Harris is one of the most versatile performers out there. He is a Scottish DJ, record producer, singer and songwriter, and he definitely puts his many talents to good work. He is certainly popular when it comes to streaming; he was the first U.K. solo artist to reach more than 1 billion streams on Spotify. He has had 18 Brit Award nominations, and he won British Producer of the Year and British Single of the Year in 2019 for “One Kiss,” collaborating with Dua Lipa. He has also been nominated for Grammys five times, including Best Music Video in 2013.
27. Daddy Yankee
No. of streams: 16,741,057,625
Most streamed song: “Con Calma”
Career highlights: Daddy Yankee has won 184 awards from 484 nominations.
Why Daddy Yankee is one of the most-streamed:Daddy Yankee has that Latin rap voice that lets you know the party is about to begin. Reminiscent of Pitbull, Daddy Yankee’s upbeat style is embraced by a worldwide audience. He is known as the “King of Reggaeton” by music critics and has a huge fan base. Of note, Daddy Yankee tried out for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and was ready for a contract when he was hit by a stray round from an AK-47, which took him a year and a half to recover. We're glad he stuck to music.
26. Bruno Mars
No. of streams: 16,848,359,799
Most streamed song: “Locked Out of Heaven”
Career highlights: Bruno Mars has sold more than 130 million records worldwide, and eight of his songs have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
Why Bruno Mars is one of the most-streamed: Mars has the gift of putting together different genres, including pop, R&B, funk, soul, reggae and rock, and turning them into hits. Mars has received 15 Grammy Awards, including three Record of the Year wins, four Brit Awards, 11 American Music Awards and 13 Soul Train Awards. In fact, Guinness World Records recognized Mars as the “First Male Artist to achieve three, 10 million selling singles” in 2017. In addition, Mars is probably best known for his lively, retro concert performances with the “Hooligans” as his backup band, singers and dancers.
25. David Guetta
No. of streams: 17,621,471,349
Most streamed song: “Titanium”
Career highlights: Guetta has won two Grammy Awards, an American Music Award and a Billboard Music Award.
Why David Guetta is one of the most-streamed: David Guetta, like Harris, uses his DJ talents to mesh with collaborators and produce hits that attract billions of streamers. For instance, in 2013, Billboard declared Guetta as the No. 1 dance-pop collaboration of all time for the hit, “When Love Takes Over.” Guetta was also voted the No. 1 DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll three times in 2011, 2020 and 2021. His breakthrough album in 2009, “One Love,” which included the hits “When Love Takes Over,” “Gettin’ Over You,” “Sexy Bitch” and “Memories,” produced three songs that went No. 1 in the U.K. Let’s just say, his career hasn't slowed down.
24. Shawn Mendes
No. of streams: 17,967,044,183
Most streamed song: “Treat You Better”
Career highlights: Mendes has won 13 SOCAN awards, 10 MTV Europe Music Awards, eight Juno Awards, eight iHeartRadio MMVAs, two American Music Awards and three Grammy nominations.
Why Shawn Mendes is one of the most-streamed: With good looks and a unique voice that attracts millions of fans, Mendes has had a great career so far, and he’s only 23 years old. In 2013, Mendes produced songs on Vine, and he was discovered and wound up signing a record label. Mendes’ debut album, “Handwritten,” made Mendes one of five artists to debut at No. 1 before the age of 18. Lately, Mendes has kept himself very busy. Over a four-year span, he produced four albums, and he became the youngest male artist ever to top Billboard 200 with four studio albums.
23. Maroon 5
No. of streams: 18,718,182,129
Most streamed song: “Sugar”
Career highlights: Maroon 5 is one of the most successful pop bands out there with sales of more than 135 million records.
Why Maroon 5 is one of the most-streamed: With Adam Levine as one of the top frontmen in the music business, Maroon 5 produces catchy tunes that fans adore. After a shaky start under a different name, Maroon 5 resurfaced in 2001, and stardom came very quickly. With the album title “Songs About Jane” in 2002, the band won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. That success carried over to its second album, “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” which debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 (along with the number one single “Makes Me Wonder”). The hits continued to flow, and the band has produced seven successful albums.
No. of streams: 19,405,395,764
Most streamed song: “This Is What You Came For”
Career highlights: Rihanna has sold 250 million records worldwide. She has won nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, six Guinness World Records and the NAACP’s President’s Award.
Why Rihanna is one of the most-streamed: It seemed like fans immediately glued onto Rihanna with the release of her first two albums, “Music of the Sun” and “A Girl Like Me”. She went on to have one of the best careers in music. She used many genres, including pop, R&B, reggae and hip hop to show off her versatility. Rihanna is also known for collaborating with some of the greats in the industry using different styles. The list of collaborators includes Drake, Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Adam Levine, Paul McCartney, Ne-Yo, and Shakira. Of note, as of 2021, she is the wealthiest female musician with an estimated worth of $1.7 billion.
21. Travis Scott
No. of streams: 19,438,085,932
Most streamed song: “SICKO MODE”
Career highlights: Travis Scott has won or been nominated 25 times for awards, including a victory at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Hip Hop. He also had eight Grammy Award nominations and he won a Billboard Music Award.
Why Travis Scott is one of the most-streamed: Travis Scott has one of those voices that captivate audiences, which is rare for a rapper. Scott is also a collaborator, songwriter and record producer. Scott’s popularity and concert appeal were skyrocketing until the Astroworld tragedy on Nov. 5, 2021, when 10 festivalgoers were killed due to accidental asphyxiation following a crowd rush as Scott was performing. Scott is facing billions of dollars in damages and did not appear in concert or produce any songs since the tragic event until May 7, 2022, when he performed at the Miami Grand Prix.
No. of streams: 19,905,887,302
Most streamed song: “Lovely”
Career highlights: Khalid has received many accolades, including six Grammy Award nominations, six Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards and an MTV Video Music Award.
Why Khalid is one of the most-streamed: From the moment he made his first song, Khalid was clearly on his way to greatness. His debut album, “American Teen,” released in 2017, was certified 4x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Khalid earned the U.S. top 20 singles honors with that album for “Location” and “Young Dumb & Broke.” Much of Khalid’s success came with collaboration songs, such as “1-800-273-8255” with Alessia Cara (which earned a Grammy nomination), “Love Lies” with Normani and “Eastside” with Benny Bianco and Halsey.
19. Imagine Dragons
No. of streams: 19,972,283,802
Most streamed song: “Bones”
Career highlights: Imagine Dragons has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, and they were the most-streamed group of 2018 on Spotify.
Why Imagine Dragons is one of the most-streamed: Imagine Dragons has produced many versions of rock music, such as pop-rock, indie pop and alternative rock, and made it work for its fans in a big way. Imagine Dragons has won three American Music Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, one Grammy Award and one MTV Video Music Award. The band was a hit from the get-go in 2013 when Billboard named it the “Breakthrough Band of 2013,” and MTV called it “the year’s biggest breakout band.”
No. of streams: 20,066,831,080
Most streamed song: “Tu Foto”
Career highlights: All five of Ozuna’s studio albums have topped the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, with “Aura” moving to No. 7 on the Billboard 200.
Why Ozuna is one of the most-streamed: Fans love this Latin star with his style of reggaeton and trap, but he’s gone out of the box with collaborations spanning a variety of genres, including reggae, bachata and moombahton. In fact, his musical debut in 2012 with the song “Imaginando” led to collaborations with Daddy Yankee and Anuel AA. Ozuna is one of the best-selling Latin American artists, selling around 15 million records. He has won two Latin Grammy Awards, five Billboard Music Awards, 12 Billboard Latin Music Awards and four Guinness World Records.
17. Dua Lipa
No. of streams: 20,099,485,789
Most streamed song: “Levitating”
Career highlights: Dua Lipa has won six Brit Awards, three Grammy Awards, three iHeartRadio Music Awards, six Global Awards, 11 MTV Awards, an American Music Award and two Guinness World Records.
Why Dua Lipa is one of the most-streamed: Dua Lipa (yes, her real name) has produced hits after hits with a fresh, upbeat R&B sound that has superstar written all over it. Lipa was working as a model when she signed with Warner Bros. Records in 2014, and from there, she produced one hit after another. In addition, she had success with collaborations, such as her 2018 hit single “One Kiss” with Calvin Harris, which hit No. 1 in the U.K., or “Levitating” with DaBaby, which went to No. 1 in the U.S. in 2021. Her most recent album, “Future Nostalgia,” earned six Grammy nominations, and it became her first U.K. No. 1 album. She earned British Female Solo Artist and British Album of the Year honors as a result.
No. of streams: 20,213,712,505
Most streamed song: “Sad!”
Career highlights: XXXTENTACION’s debut album in 2017 reached double-platinum in the US and reached number two on the Billboard 200. His second album in 2018 debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
Why XXXTENTACION is one of the most-streamed: XXXTENTACION showed loads of talent who perhaps was one of the most versatile singers out there as he explored emo, drill, trap, lo-fi, indie rock, nu-metal, hip hop, R&B and punk rock. Consequently, his stardom was overshadowed by legal issues and alleged violence. Then, on June 18, 2018, XXXTENTACION was fatally shot in the neck at age 20 in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where four suspects have been arrested and a trial date has not been set. Since his death, XXXTENTACION has won an American Music Award, a BET Hip Hop Award and 11 Billboard Music Award nominations.
No. of streams: 20,514,966,180
Most streamed song: “Something Just Like This”
Career highlights: Coldplay has sold 100 million albums worldwide, making it the most successful band of the 21st century. According to Fuse, the band is the sixth-most awarded group in history.
Why Coldplay is one of the most-streamed: This British rock band has shown the ability to bring a specific theme and new musical style to each album, such as electronica, ambient, pop, R&B, classical, jazz fusion and progressive rock, and still bring success to the band. They also bring an epic style to their concerts where, as critics pointed out, the band “comes alive and makes the most sense.” They have had nine American Music Awards nominations, with one win (Tour of the Year), they have won or been nominated for Billboard Music Award 27 times, and they have won or been nominated for a Grammy 36 times. Of note, the band had three different names in the early going. They were known as Pectoraiz (1996-97), Starfish (1998) and Los Unidades (2018).
14. Juice WRLD
No. of streams: 21,417,876,398
Most streamed song: “Lucid Dreams”
Career highlights: Juice WRLD won an American Music Award for Favorite Male Artist – Hip-Hop as well as 15 nominations and one win for Billboard Music Awards.
Why Juice WRLD was one of the most-streamed: Fans loved his different styles, going well beyond just being a rap artist. Juice WRLD’s musical influences include a variety of genres such as emo, hip-hop, rock, punk and R&B. His signature moment was the production of the 2018 single, “Lucid Dreams," which landed at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and it was also included on his triple platinum debut studio album, “Goodbye & Good Riddance,” in 2018. Unfortunately on Dec. 8, 2019, Juice WRLD, known as Jarad Anthony Higgins, died from a drug overdose. Since then, Juice WRLD had two successful posthumous albums.
13. Billie Eilish
No. of streams: 21,838,895,868
Most streamed song: “Bad Guy”
Career highlights: Billie Eilish has received many accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two Guinness World Records, three MTV Video Music Awards, three Brit Awards, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award — all before the age of 20.
Why Billie Eilish is one of the most-streamed: Billie Eilish came on the scene in 2015 with her debut single, “Ocean Eyes,” which was written and produced by her brother Finneas O’Connell, and fans quickly glued themselves to her unique and, oftentimes, fun style. She became the youngest artist in Grammy history and third overall to win all four general field categories — Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year — in the same year.
12. Kanye West
No. of streams: 23,291,820,924
Most streamed song: “Donda 2”
Career highlights: Kanye West has won 24 Grammy Awards, 10th most all time and the most by any rapper along with Jay-Z. He also earned a Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist.
Why Kanye West is one of the most-streamed: Kanye West is certainly one of the most controversial performers out there, but he is also one of the most talented in that he has produced one epic album after another. West has found success in so many ways. Besides being a gifted rapper and record producer, West is also a superb fashion designer in clothing and footwear. Still, West often goes off the track with his political commentary that he delivers over social media and at awards shows that leaves many to wonder about his mental health, and his estranged marriage to Kim Kardashian has always been a headline grabber. Unfortunately, much of that has overshadowed West’s remarkable talents.
11. J Balvin
No. of streams: 24,443,301,726
Most streamed song: “Mi Gente”
Career highlights: J Balvin has won five Billboard Latin Music Awards, four Latin Grammy Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, four Latin American Music Awards and two Grammy nominations.
Why J Balvin is one of the most-streamed: Although the majority of his music is done in Spanish, J Balvin has drawn quite a following from a vast variety of audiences worldwide. He has been referred to as the “Prince of Reggaeton'' and is one of the best-selling Latin performers with more than 35 million records worldwide. J Balvin has used a wide variety of genres, including electronica, house music, trap and R&B. He has also been an outstanding live performer and is the first Latino to headline events such as Coachella, Tomorrowland and Lollapalooza. J Balvin intends to introduce Spanish-language music to a global audience, and he’s well on his way. The Guinness World Records said Balvin is a “leader of a second-generation reggaeton revolution.”
No. of streams: 25,402,464,237
Most streamed song: “Dynamite”
Career highlights: BTS has won six American Music Awards, nine Billboard Music Awards, 24 Golden Disk Awards and earned nominations for two Grammy Awards and two Brit Awards.
Why BTS is one of the most-streamed: This boy band has literally taken the world by storm with its lively, sexy upbeat music with a touch of rap that is adored by millions of fans. With more than 32 million albums sold, BTS is the best-selling artist in South Korean history — and now they're making waves in the U.S. For instance, they became the first Korean group to receive certification from the Recording Industry Association of America for their single, “Mic Drop.” They are the first Korean act to top the U.S. Billboard 200, and BTS became one of the few groups since the Beatles to earn four U.S. No. 1 albums in less than two years.
9. Post Malone
No. of streams: 27,766,025,981
Most streamed song: “Rockstar”
Career highlights: Post Malone has received 10 Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards, one MTV Video Music Award and six Grammy Award nominations.
Why Post Malone is one of the most-streamed: Post Malone is best known for his distinctive voice and songwriting ability that has made him one of the most popular singers and writers of the times. He has a knack for blending genres such as pop, hip-hop, R&B and trap, and has sold more than 80 million records. It was easy to predict how Malone’s career would go just by his debut studio album, “Stoney,” in 2016 when it set the record for most weeks (77) on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Malone’s second and third albums debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200. Even his songs were record-setters that included “Circles,” which also reached No. 1 and set the record for most weeks (39) in the top 10 on the Hot 100.
No. of streams: 28,259,067,469
Most streamed song: “Without Me”
Career highlights: Eminem was the best-selling music artist in the U.S. in the 2000s and the best-selling male music artist in the U.S., third overall; Billboard named him the “Artist of the Decade (2000-2009). He has won 15 Grammy Awards, eight American Music Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, an Academy Award and an MTV Europe Musical Global Icon Award.
Why Eminem is one of the most-streamed:Eminem is a history-making rapper who wound up making rap popular in middle America, and he broke the racial barrier that white rappers were accepted among fans. His controversial music influenced many artists with various genres. He has an estimated worldwide sales of more than 220 million records, and he also debuted in the film industry with the musical drama “8 Mile” in 2002. His soundtrack, “Lose Yourself,” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, making him the first hip-hop artist to win the award.
7. Taylor Swift
No. of streams: 28,618,404,242
Most streamed song: “ME!”
Career highlights: Taylor Swift has received 11 Grammy Awards, including three Album of the Year awards, an Emmy Award, 34 American Music Awards (the most for an artist), 25 Billboard Music Awards, 25 Billboard Music Awards (most by a woman) and 56 Guinness World Records.
Why Taylor Swift is one of the most-streamed:Taylor Swift relates to a number of young women and kids with her narrative songwriting, mainly about her personal life, and lively tunes that are inspirational for many fans. She has sold more than 200 million records worldwide, and eight of her songs have topped the Hot 100. Actually, Swift began as a country music singer and then went to country-pop, making her one of the most successful crossover singers.
Among her laurels, Swift was featured on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time in 2015, Billboard's Greatest of All Time Artists in 2019, the Time 100 and Forbes’ Celebrity 100 rankings, and she was named Woman of the 2010s Decade by Billboard and Artists of the 2010s Decade by the American Music Awards. She has also been a major hit on the concert scene, with some events among the highest-grossing in history.
6. Justin Bieber
No. of streams: 30,105,930,210
Most streamed song: “Sorry”
Career highlights: Justin Bieber has won two Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, eight Juno Awards, two Brit Awards, 21 Billboard Music Awards, 18 American Music Awards, 21 MTV Europe Music Awards (the most by any artist), 23 Teen Choice Awards (the most won by a male artist) and 33 Guinness World Records.
Why Justin Bieber is one of the most-streamed: Justin Bieber was one of the biggest heartthrobs in music history when he began his career with the song “Baby,” which became one of the highest certified singles of all time in the U.S. His studio album, “My World,” debuted at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200, making him the youngest solo male act to top the chart in 47 years. His second solo album, “Under the Mistletoe,'' in 2011, became the first Christmas album by a male artist to debut at No. 1 in the U.S. In fact, Bieber became the first artist in history with five U.S. No. 1 albums at age 18.
However, Bieber was involved with controversy and legal issues, thus, hurting his image. Still, as Bieber grew into adulthood, he managed to successfully reinvent himself, and the hits kept coming with different genres and collaborations. For instance, he earned a Latin Grammy Award with “Despacito,” and he won the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance with Dan + Shay for “10,000 Hours.” Indeed, this multitalented performer continues to roll out hits much like he did at the start of his career.
5. Ariana Grande
No. of streams: 30,594,127,740
Most streamed song: “7 Rings”
Career highlights: Ariana Grande is the most streamed female artist in history and the most on Spotify and Apple Music. Grande was named by Billboard as Woman of the Year in 2018, the greatest pop star of 2019 and the most successful female artist to debut in the 2010s.
Why Ariana Grande is one of the most-streamed: Ariana Grande, whose music career began at the age of 15, has one of the most beautiful voices in the music industry, present or past, and she has managed to come out with one hit after another, thanks to her four-octave vocal range. In addition to being a singer and songwriter, Grande is a talented actress who has played parts in movies and has starred in TV shows.
She has sold more than 85 million records globally, and all of her studio albums have been certified platinum or higher. She is the first artist and only woman to have five No. 1 debuts — she had three No. 1 debuts in one calendar year — and to debut the lead singles from each of her studio albums in the top 10. In addition, Grande has had success as a collaborator; in 2020 alone, her song “Stuck with U” with Justin Bieber and “Rain on Me” with Lady Gaga helped her break the record for most No. 1 debuts on the Hot 100.
4. The Weeknd
No. of streams: 31,429,772,604
Most streamed song: “Starboy”
Career highlights: The Weeknd has received numerous accolades, including four Grammy Awards, 19 Billboard Music Awards, 15 Juno Awards, six American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and an Academy Award nomination.
Why The Weeknd is one of the most-streamed: The Weeknd has been regarded for his sonic versatility and dark lyricism with a clean sound, and his music explores escapism, romance and melancholia, inspired by his personal experiences. His many genres, which include R&B, pop, hip-hop, dance, alternative rock and new wave, have attracted many fans.
The Weeknd has sold more than 75 million records, and he has set numerous streaming and Billboard chart records. He is the first artist to simultaneously debut on the top three on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while “Blinding Lights” is the longest-charting song in Billboard history. The Weeknd has also contributed to film soundtracks, most notably his single “Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey” winning the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance while being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. His collaborations are also like a who’s who of fellow performers that includes Ariana Grande, Drake and Travis Scott.
3. Bad Bunny
No. of streams: 35,194,250,820
Most streamed song: “Drivers License”
Career highlights: Bad Bunny rose to stardom after the release of his breakthrough single, “Soy Peor,'' in 2016, and his career took off thanks to collaborations with Cardi B (“I Like It”) and Drake (“Mia”), which charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at No. 1 and 3, respectively. He won a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album in 2020 with “YHLQMDLG.” He also earned a Grammy Award for Best Musica Urbana Album for his third album, “El Último Tour Del Mundo,” and he also earned a Billboard Global 200 No. 1 single for “Dakiti.”
Why Bad Bunny is one of the most-streamed:Bad Bunny, a Puerto Rican rapper, singer, producer and actor, captured the hearts of Latin music fans with his deep, slurred vocal style. He has successfully married a host of genres to his music, including Latin trap, reggaeton, rock, bachata and soul. His followers continue to stream his music, and he became the first non-English language act to be Spotify’s most-streamed artist of the year in 2020 and 2021.
That’s about the time when he gave wrestling a try and made appearances for the WWE in 2021 where he won the WWE 24/7 Championship, and he won a tag team match. Speaking about major events, Bad Bunny also performed at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
2. Ed Sheeran
No. of streams: 35,624,595,569
Most streamed song: “Shape Of You”
Career highlights: Ed Sheeran has 84.5 million RIAA-certified units in the U.S., and two of his albums are on the list of the best-selling albums in U.K. chart history. In December 2019, the Official Charts Company named him Artist of the Decade, with the most combined success in the U.K. album and singles charts in the 2010s.
Why Ed Sheeran is one of the most-streamed: Ed Sheeran’s upbeat vocals have captured the likes of millions of fans. This British singer began writing songs at the age of 11, and it was clear he was on his way to stardom when his debut album, "+" (pronounced “plus”), topped the U.K. Albums Chart in 2011. As a result, Sheeran won the Brit Awards for Best Britain Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act.
However, his second album, "x" (pronounced “multiply”), topped charts around the world and was named the second-best-selling album worldwide in 2015. His third album, "÷" (pronounced “divide”), followed suit as the best-selling album worldwide in 2017 with the first two singles, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill,” breaking records in numerous countries. Of course, his subsequent albums and songs found similar success. Sheeran has sold more than 150 million records worldwide. As far as globally, Spotify named him the second most-streamed artist of the decade. In addition, his ÷ Tour became the highest-grossing of all time in August 2019.
No. of streams: 46,616,502,610
Most streamed song: “One Dance”
Career highlights: Drake is ranked as the highest-certified digital singles artist in the U.S. by RIAA. He has won four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a record 29 Billboard Music Awards, two Brit Awards, three Juno Awards and many Billboard Hot 100 chart records. In addition, Drake has the most top 10 singles (54) and the most charted songs (258), the most simultaneously charted songs in one week (27), the most Hot 100 debuts in one week (22) and the most continuous time on the Hot 100 (431 weeks).
Why Drake is one of the most-streamed: Drake actually began as an actor starring as Jimmy Brooks in the CTV teen drama series, “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” which ran from 2001-08. But once he released his debut studio album, “Thank Me Later,” in 2010, which debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, he was on his to having a seriously successful musical career. His unique singing style, much like a darker baritone, has resonated with his following in a big way.
Drake has sold more than 170 million albums and, in addition, Drake has the most No. 1 singles on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs and Rhythmic Airplay charts. Drake has gone into other ventures, including his role as global ambassador with the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, becoming a fashion designer and collaborating with Brent Hocking on the bourbon whiskey “Virginia Black,” which broke sales records in Canada. So, the question remains, is there anything Drake can’t do?