According to data published by the Official Charts Company, “Blinding Lights” rules the U.K.’s end-of-year chart with 2.2 million chart sales, including 195,000 downloads and 250 million streams, both market-leading totals.
Released in November 2019, “Blinding Lights” went on to log eight weeks at No. 1 and its parent album, After Hours, topped the national chart in March 2020.
The Canadian artist was aggrieved to have been overlooked from the shortlist for the 2021 Grammy Awards, but he’s clearly embraced by music fans on the other side of the Atlantic (nominations for the 2021 Brit Awards, set to take place on May 11, have yet to be announced).
Another artist who’s warmly received in the U.K. is Tones And I, the Australian singer and songwriter whose 2019 hit “Dance Monkey” swung in at No. 2 on The Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2020.
Tones (real name Toni Watson) ruled the chart for 11 weeks with “Dance Monkey,” setting a new record for a solo female artist. The one-time busker’s viral hit was also the No. 2 most-streamed song of the year, behind only “Blinding Lights,” the OCC reports, and the fifth-ranked digital download.
“Head & Heart,” which locked-in six weeks at No. 1 between July and September, and boasted 1.22 million chart sales in 2020, including 149 million streams, is the territory’s biggest song released in 2020.
Meanwhile, Scotsman Capaldi had the biggest-selling album for a second year in a row with Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish, his debut LP, chalking up 456,000 combined sales during the 12-month period. Divinely Uninspired was one of a record 43 titles to rule the Official U.K. Albums Chart in 2020.
The year-end charts are shared as trade body the BPI publishes its annual U.K. music consumption report. Those new figures show that streaming continued to boom in 2020, and now accounts for about 80% of total music consumption.
Brits streamed almost 140 billion tracks in 2020, up 22% compared to 2019, and 4.8 million LPs were purchased over the year, up by nearly 10 per cent on 2019. That’s a 21st century record and the highest total since the early ’90s.
The Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2020
1. Blinding Lights, The Weeknd
2. Dance Monkey, Tones And I
3. Roses, SAINt JHN
4. Before You Go, Lewis Capaldi
5. Head & Heart, Joel Corry ft Mnek
6. Don’t Start Now, Dua Lipa
7. Rockstar, Dababy ft Roddy Ricch
8. Someone You Loved, Lewis Capaldi
9. Own It, Stormzy/Ed Sheeran/Burna Boy
10. Watermelon Sugar, Harry Styles
The Official Top 40 biggest albums of 2020
1. Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, Lewis Capaldi
2. Fine Line, Harry Styles
3. Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa
4. When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go, Billie Eilish
5. Heavy Is The Head, Stormzy
6. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon, Pop Smoke
7. No 6 Collaborations Project, Ed Sheeran
8. Greatest Hits, Queen
9. Diamonds, Elton John
10. 50 Years – Don’t Stop, Fleetwood Mac