- Harry Styles’ introspective-but-gossipy pop hit As It Was has been announced as the UK’s most-streamed music of 2022.
- Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer all said the track was their top singer of the year, winning competition from Ed Sheeran, Drake and Taylor Swift.
It was also the most prominent track globally on Spotify and Deezer, with Justin Bieber’s Stay beating Apple’s chart.
Styles has said the track is about “metamorphosis” as he recalls loneliness, growing up and carrying on.
Spotify said As It Was had been played a whole of 1.5 billion times this year.
That would have achieved the singer and his co-writers around £1.5m in royalties.
While Styles’ triumph was uniformly adored across the three streaming platforms, there was a vast variation further down the chart.
Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, which earned a new lease of life this year after being played in Stranger Things, was the UK’s fourth most-streamed music on Spotify, for instance, while being missing from Apple’s Top 10.
Spotify fans showed a massive need for UK rap, with releases by Dave, Aitch and D-Block Europe all serving well.
Apple users bent more towards pop, charting tunes by Adele and Elton John that didn’t occur in Spotify’s list.
Deezer, which has a much less market share, capped its charts to music released in 2022.
That made space for Nigerian rapper Rema, whose laid-back beat Calm Down was his second most-streamed music of the year, and Camila Cabello, whose duet with Ed Sheeran, Bam Bam, ranked third.
Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny was the most-played singer overall on Spotify for the third year running, thanks mainly to his Grammy-nominated double album Un Verano Sin Ti (A Summer Without You).
However, he could not repeat that victory in the UK, where fans still seem opposed to songs sung in languages other than English.