Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ Tops U.K. Most-Played List of 2010s


Another reason for Pharrell Williams to be happy: his signature song was the most-played track of the decade in the U.K.

Pharrell’s “Happy” came out on top of a new chart, published this week by the BBC Radio 2 based on exclusive data from Phonographic Performance Ltd. (PPL), with hits by Adele and Maroon 5 close behind.

Adele is the only female in the top 10 as “Rolling In The Deep,” lifted from her best-selling 2010 album 21, comes in at No. 2 on the list.

U.S. artists dominate the top 10 with “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera at No. 3, ahead of “Get Lucky” by French electronic duo Daft Punk featuring Pharrell and Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers, and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, respectively.

PPL’s Most Played Charts are based on music usage and airplay data supplied by the organization’s licensees, including music both on radio and TV and at all live locations including clubs, shops, pubs and other premises.

A deep dive into the top 40 sheds more light on Britons’ music tastes over the past ten years.

For starters, the hits tend to be fresh. Just one of the recordings was released in the 1990s, Australian singer and actor Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” from 1997 (another track from Imbruglia, “Shiver,” was PPL’s “most used” track of 2005).

Five of the top 40 were released in the noughts and the rest – 34 in total – were released in the last decade.

Adele and Bruno Mars are the only artists to appear three times (Mars appearing twice solo, and once more with British-U.S. producer Mark Ronson). Also, 14 of the tracks are sung by women, with 22 sung by men and four featured both male and female vocals.

PPL’S Most Played Tracks Of The 2010s – Top 10
1. “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
2. “Rolling In The Deep,” Adele
3. “Moves Like Jagger,” Maroon 5 Feat. Christina Aguilera
4. “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk Feat. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
5. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”, Justin Timberlake
6. “I Gotta Feeling,” Black Eyed Peas
7. “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars
8. “Counting Stars,” OneRepublic
9. “Forget You,” CeeLo Green
10. “Sex On Fire,” Kings Of Leon


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