Women dominate music charts for 2023 with record breaking run

Women have dominated the UK music scene for 2023 as female artists spent the most weeks at number one in the official singles chart since its inception in 1952.

A few familiar names and some new entrants featured in the UK Top 40 as women claimed a record-breaking 31 weeks at number one, according to British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the record industry’s trade association.

Miley Cyrus led the way with her post-breakup song Flowers which stayed 10 weeks at the top of the charts, calculated by a combination of streaming and retail sales.

Dave and Central Cee’s track Sprinter took second place but it was followed by a string of female artists, with seven out of the top 10 featuring female acts.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY JANUARY 3 File photo dated 30/06/19 of Miley Cyrus performing on the fifth day of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Female artists led the charge in 2023, spending the most weeks at number one in the singles chart since records began in 1952. Issue date: Wednesday January 3, 2024.
Miley Cyrus’s Flowers was at the top of the charts for 10 weeks

London-born RAYE’s collaboration with US rapper 070 Shake on Escapism secured third spot.

Taylor Swift, whose 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was the best-selling vinyl album, made it onto the list with Anti-Hero, from her tenth studio album Midnights.

Taylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
It was a successful year for Taylor Swift. Pic: AP

Singer Ellie Goulding’s track Miracle with Calvin Harris came in fifth, while US female rapper-singer SZA’s song Kill Bill took seventh.

More on Ellie Goulding

Bath-born singer PinkPantheress came in eighth with Boy’s A Liar and Cameroonian American singer Libianca rounded off the top 10 with People.

The other male artists making up the rest of the top ten were Rema (Calm Down) and Harry Styles (As It Was).

Thirteen of the year’s top 20 tracks were by women, including UK artists Ella Henderson (React), and Venbee (Messy In Heaven) and global stars Olivia Rodrigo (Vampire) and Bebe Rexha (I’m Good [Blue] with David Guetta).

PinkPantheress arrives for the European premiere of Barbie at Cineworld Leicester Square in London. Picture date: Wednesday July 12, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Barbie. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
PinkPantheress featured in the top 20 tracks of the year

BPI chief executive Dr Jo Twist said 2023 had been a “brilliant year for women” which should be “celebrated but without complacency”.

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Streaming continues to dominate the music industry, with it making up 87.7% of the market for 2023.

There were over 179 billion streams across the past year, up by 12.8% in 2022.

BPI introduced the Brit Billion award which recognises artists who have achieved more than one billion streams in the UK including Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones, and Coldplay.

Cyrus’s Flowers was the year’s biggest hit with 198 million audio and video streams in the UK.

However, physical album sales continue to prove popular with 86% of the 44 albums that debuted at number one having more than half their chart sales made up of physical units.

Canadian singer The Weeknd hit the heights once more as his best-of album, The Highlights, was the year’s top record.

The Barbie album soundtrack became the year’s top compilation and included hits by Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice.

The biggest albums of the year were:

  1. The Weeknd – The Highlights
  2. Taylor Swift – Midnights
  3. Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
  4. Elton John – Diamonds
  5. Harry Styles – Harry’s House
  6. Fleetwood Mac – 50 Years – Don’t Stop
  7. Eminem – Curtain Call – The Hits
  8. SZA – SOS
  9. Arctic Monkeys – AM
  10. ABBA – Gold – Greatest Hits

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