And the most-played song on UK radio is… Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

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Snow Patrol’s ballad Chasing Cars has been crowned the most-played song of the 21st Century on UK radio.

Originally released in 2006, the lovestruck ballad never reached number one in the UK, but remained on the charts for more than three years.

It took up a similar residency on the airwaves, where it has become the most popular song of the last 20 years.

Second place went to Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling, while Pharrell’s similarly upbeat Happy came third.

“It’s unbelievable,” Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody told the BBC. “I’m not sure how that happened.”

Asked to explain the Chasing Cars’ appeal, he said: “It’s an emotionally open song and it’s a simple song. But it’s also unabashedly a love song, and we don’t really have any others.

“The way it unifies an audience is the thing I most cherish about it. It’s a beautiful moment every time you play it.”

The song was taken from Snow Patrol’s fourth album, Eyes Open. It was the 14th biggest-selling single of 2006, and the last song played live on Top of the Pops.

Lightbody was presented with a special award marking the achievement on Tuesday by music licensing body PPL, which tracks all the music played on radio and television in the UK, as it marked its 85th anniversary.

Speaking to BBC News, Lightbody looked back on the creation of Chasing Cars in a wine-fuelled, all-night recording session.

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