Dua Lipa, Drake Top Billboard’s Year-End Lists


As 2021 comes to a close, music giants like Billboard, Spotify, Apple Music, iHeartRadio and more are releasing their lists for the most-listened and best-selling songs and albums of the year, and acts like BTS, Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande and Olivia Rodrigo have the lead on several charts—here’s a rundown of the most popular music this year.  

Key Facts

Billboard: Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” was the most popular song of the year, topping Billboard’s Hot 100; Drake was the top artist of the year; Controversial country singer Morgan Wallen, who was caught on video using a racial slur, earned the number one spot on the Top 200 Albums chart for his work Dangerous: The Double Album

Spotify: Olivia Rodrigo’s “driver’s license” was the most-streamed song Jan. 1 to Nov. 27, around the world and in the U.S. on the streaming service; Rodrigo’s album Sour was the most-streamed album globally; Bad Bunny was the most streamed artist around the world for the second year in a row, garnering 9.1 billion streams.

Apple Music: BTS’ “Dynamite” was the most-played song on the streaming service between October 16, 2020, and October 15, 2021; the most Shazamed song—when users ask Siri to identify a song that’s playing—was Masked Wolf’s “Astronaut in the Ocean,” which was requested 11.7 million times.

iHeartRadio: Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” was the most-played song on the country’s largest radio network, garnering 1.2 billion listens; Ariana Grande was the network’s most-played artist, getting 2.6 billion listens.

Pandora: Cardi B’s “Up” topped the streaming radio service’s list of songs with the most “thumbs up” reactions from users this year.

YouTube: The platform’s top music video in the U.S. was Pooh Shiesty and Lil Durk’s “Back In Blood,” which earned over 217 million total views.


Youtube Top Music Videos (U.S.):

  1. “Back In Blood” — Pooh Shiesty ft. Lil Durk
  2. “Save Your Tears” — The Weeknd
  3. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) — Lil Nas X
  4. “Rapstar” — Polo G
  5. “Every Chance I Get” — DJ Khaled ft. Lil Baby, Lil Durk

Pandora Top 100 Thumbed Songs:

  1. “Up” — Cardi B
  2. “Leave The Door Open” — Silk Sonic
  3. “Easy On Me” — Adele
  4. “Fancy Like” — Walker Hayes
  5. “Time Today” — Moneybagg Yo

Billboard Hot 100 Songs

  1. “Levitating” — Dua Lipa 
  2. “Save Your Tears” — The Weeknd ft. Ariana Grande 
  3. “Blinding Lights” — The Weeknd 
  4. “Mood” — 24Goldn ft. ian dior
  5. “Good 4 u” — Olivia Rodrigo

Billboard Top 200 Albums

  1. Dangerous: The Double Album — Morgan Wallen
  2. Sour — Olivia Rodrigo
  3. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon — Pop Smoke
  4. Evermore — Taylor Swift
  5. Certified Lover Boy — Drake

Billboard Top Artists

  1. Drake
  2. Olivia Rodrigo
  3. The Weeknd
  4. Taylor Swift
  5. Morgan Wallen

Spotify Most Streamed Artists Globally:

  1. Bad Bunny
  2. Taylor Swift
  3. BTS
  4. Drake 
  5. Justin Bieber 

Spotify Most Streamed Songs Globally:

  1. “drivers license” — Olivia Rodrigo
  2. “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) — Lil Nas X
  3. “STAY (With Justin Bieber) — The Kid Laroi 
  4. “good 4 u” — Olivia Rodrigo
  5. “Levitating (ft. Da Baby)” — Dua Lipa 

Spotify Most Streamed Albums Globally 

  1. SOUR — Olivia Rodrigo
  2. Future Nostalgia — Dua Lipa 
  3. Justice — Justin Bieber 
  4. = — Ed Sheeran 
  5. Planet Her — Doja Cat 

Apple Music Most Streamed Songs:

  1. “Dynamite” — BTS
  2. “drivers license” — Olivia Rodrigo
  3. “positions” — Ariana Grande 
  4. “For The Night (ft. Lil Baby and Da Baby) — Pop Smoke
  5. “Blinding Lights” — The Weeknd 

Apple Music Most Shazamed Songs: 

  1. “Astronaut In The Ocean” — Masked Wolf
  2. “Save Your Tears” — The Weeknd 
  3. “Bad Habits” — Ed Sheeran 
  4. “drivers license” — Olivia Rodrigo
  5. “Beggin” — Maneskin 

iHeartRadio Top Overall Songs: 

  1. “Levitating” — Dua Lipa
  2. “Save Your Tears” — The Weeknd 
  3. “34+35” — Ariana Grande
  4. “Kiss Me More” — Doja Cat ft. Sza 
  5.  “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) — Lil Nas X

iHeartRadio Top Overall Artists:

  1. Ariana Grande
  2. Dua Lipa 
  3. The Weeknd
  4. Olivia Rodrigo
  5. Pop Smoke


Several popular songs from last year bled over onto this year’s charts. Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande and Bad Bunny did not release new music this year, and their popularity in 2021 on Spotify, iHeartRadio and the Billboard charts comes from their releases in 2020. “Blinding Lights” was one of the most popular song’s last year, and still charted on Apple Music and on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2021. “Dynamite” was also released last year.

Key Background

Last year’s Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Year chart, which is based on sales, streams and radio plays , was topped by familiar names: The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” ranked first, followed by Post Malone’s “Circles,” Roddy Ricch’s “The Box,” Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now” and DaBaby and Roddy Ricch’s “Rockstar.” The most-popular album of last year, according to Billboard, was Post Malone’s “Hollywood Is Bleeding.” “Blinding Lights” was also the most-streamed song on Spotify last year. 

Further Reading

Old Music—From Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande—Outperforms New Music In 2021 On Biggest Radio Network (Forbes) 

Adele’s ‘30’ Becomes The Bestselling Album Of 2021 In Just Three Days (Forbes)