Using data supplied by MRC and Official Charts Company, the BPI’s research comprises 2021 streams by the 15 artists shortlisted for the award between 2017 and 2021, 11 of whom are women. The artists were responsible for 13.5 billion streams around the world, with almost 2bn in the UK alone. Female acts accounted for 76% of worldwide streams generated by the Rising Star nominees last year and 68% of the UK streams.
Between 2017 and 2021 the award, formerly known as the Critics’ Choice, was won by Rag’N’Bone Man, Jorja Smith, Sam Fender, Celeste and Griff. Anne-Marie, Dua Lipa, Lewis Capaldi and Mabel were among the shortlisted acts across the five years.
Celeste racked up more than 190m global streams in 2021, while Griff scored more than 250m. Both were among 2021’s most-streamed British artists worldwide, according to the research..
This year’s nominees Holly Humberstone, Bree Runway and Lola Young generated more than 180 million global audio streams last year, with Humberstone responsible for 140m streams, including 27m in the UK.
The BRITs Rising Star award has unwaveringly signalled the next new wave of British talent
Geoff Taylor, BPI
Mabel achieved around half a billion global audio streams last year, while fellow nominees Beabadoobee, Mahalia, Rina Sawayama and Stefflon Don all topped 100m streams.
Dua Lipa, who was shortlisted in 2017, was the most-streamed Rising Star nominee of the past five years in 2021, racking up seven billon global audio streams, with over 500m in the UK. Levitating was the most streamed track of last year in the US, with 627m audio streams. It spent 41 weeks in the US Top 10, a record for a song by a woman artist.
Lewis Capaldi, from 2019’s shortlist, claimed 2.3bn audio streams globally in 2021, more than 270m of them in the UK. Anne-Marie, meanwhile, topped 1bn mark, including more than 250m in the UK.
Rag’N’Bone Man and Jorja Smith both surpassed half a billion global audio streams last year, including more than 100m each in the UK. Winner of the award in 2019, Sam Fender clocked up around 270m streams last year.
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “Ever since Adele claimed the first award in 2008, The BRITs Rising Star has unwaveringly signalled the next new wave of British talent that will go on to thrive at home and around the world. The many billions of streams achieved by the BRITs Rising Stars in 2021 not only testifies to their talent and the hard work of their label teams; it highlights that for a streaming artist to be successful it means, among other things, achieving tens of millions of streams or more every year. Despite the unprecedented competition to make a mark, there are thousands of UK artists delivering just these kinds of impressive numbers.”
Read Music Week’s cover story with Holly Humberstone here.