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Official Charts Company announces UK’s most popular music of 2021 so far

By | Published on Friday 9 April 2021

Dua Lipa

The BPI revealed yesterday that British people have been listening to more music to get them through lockdown. Now the Official Charts Company has revealed the most popular singles and albums of 2021 so far. OK, the BPI research doesn’t technically cover that period, but, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, we have been in a pretty much full-on lockdown – more or less – since the beginning of the year, so I think conflating those two things is fine.

Hey, also, before you get all arsey, Dua Lipa’s ‘Future Nostalgia’ is the most popular album, which was the big lockdown release last year, and was the UK’s third biggest album of 2020. These are definitely lockdown charts! Yes! Let’s all talk about lockdown some more!

Actually, no, maybe you’re right. Let’s just talk about the music. People don’t want to hear about lockdown, they’re just interested in the music. They’re listening to music to forget about the lockdown, after all (or that’s what the BPI research said)! Hey, did you know that there’s been a new number one album every week this year so far? That’s a whole lot of music to take your mind off lockdown with. Let’s talk about it for a while.

After Dua Lipa, Foo Fighter’s ‘Medicine At Midnight’ comes in as the second most popular album of the year so far, with Harry Styles’ ‘Fine Line’ in third and Pop Smoke’s ‘Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon’ in fourth. Which young upstart completes the top five? Why it’s Queen, of course, with their classic album, ‘Greatest Hits’.

What about singles though? Well, I think it will be of no surprise to anyone at all that Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’ is the UK’s most popular track of 2021 so far. But would it shock you to know that the dance remix of sea shanty ‘Wellerman’ was at number two? No, probably not. Can you guess number three though? Wrong! ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd is at number five. Bad luck. Two weeks extra lockdown for you.

“While so much of life feels as it if has ground to a halt during lockdown, it really has been a great start to 2021 for music”, says Official Charts Company chief exec Martin Talbot. “The constant flow of new releases has ensured we have seen a new official number one album in every week of the year so far, driven by sales of CD and vinyl, and such a broad range of artists and music types too, from Lana Del Rey and Barry Gibb to Foo Fighters and Slowthai. What a fantastically promising start to the year!”

Right, how about we look at the top tens, eh? I mean, there are whole top 40 lists, but I’m not about to start putting those into a usable format just for you. You can look at all the singles here and albums here, if you want. Or below are the top tens, which you should be both happy with and grateful for.

UK’s most popular singles – Q1 2021

1. Olivia Rodrigo – Drivers License
2. Nathan Evans – Wellerman (220kid x Billen Ted Remix)
3. Kid Laroi – Without You
4. Tiesto – The Business
5. The Weeknd – Blinding Lights
6. Anne-Marie – Don’t Play (feat KSI and Digital Farm Animals)
7. Joel Corey – Head & Heart (feat MNEK)
8. Meduza – Paradise (feat Dermot Kennedy)
9. Shane Codd – Get Out Of My Head
10. Little Mix – Sweet Melody

UK’s most popular albums – Q1 2021

1. Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
2. Foo Fighters – Medicine At Midnight
3. Harry Styles – Fine Line
4. Pop Smoke – Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon
5. Queen – Greatest Hits
6. Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired To Hellish Extent
7. Taylor Swift – Evermore
8. Fleetwood Mac – 50 Years – Don’t Stop
9. Ed Sheeran – Divide
10. Celeste – Not Your Muse