BBC Radio 2 names most played song of the decade

Pharrell’s Happy has been named the No 1 track in the Most Played Songs of the Decade programme broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

Scott Mills counted down the Top 40 songs that have been played the most on UK radio and television since 2010, on Bank Holiday Monday from 2-5pm.

Pharrell recorded an exclusive video message just for the programme in which he says: “Thank you, thank you. It is incredibly humbling to think that Happy is the most played song across radio in the UK for the past decade.

“When I was a little boy hearing those letters, UK, and thinking about the culture and seeing all of my favourite artists that I loved as a child go over and perform big concerts and festivals – I just never ever thought that anything that I would ever do would be part of that history.

He continues: “I always want people to hear my songs, as many people as possible, people that really need it. It’s cool when it happens and that you have radio stations that want to play your songs. It really means a lot to me and my career.

“None of it matters if we don’t have you guys on board. This is a crazy time and I know we listen to songs to help us get through things and if any of my music could have ever helped you in this way, I am very grateful. Thank you.”

Scott Mills says: “Every single tune I play on the show is an absolute banger that you’ll have known and loved then learnt every word to over the past ten years, and I play the entire Top 40 in full. So get ready to collectively sing your heads off. I’ll certainly be doing just that, but thankfully off-mic.”

PPL’s Most Played Songs of the 2010s

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! (Original Song from DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls) – Justin Timberlake
6. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
7. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars
8. Counting Stars – Onerepublic
9. Forget You – Cee Lo Green
10. Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon

The Top 40 Most Played Songs also reveal interesting facts and trends about the songs on our airwaves:

  • Two artists appear three times – Adele and Bruno Mars (twice solo, and once more with Mark Ronson)
  • Five artists appear twice – Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Maroon 5 and Pharrell (once solo and once with Daft Punk)
  • 12 of the tracks are performed by bands/groups
  • 14 are sung by women; 22 by men; four have both male and female vocals
  • Seven tracks are collaborations
  • 34 of the songs were released in the last decade; five were released in the noughties; and just one was released in the 1990s (Natalie Imbruglia’s Torn in 1997)
  • 18 songs are primarily credited to American artists; 14 to British artists; three to Canadian artists (two of those by Bruno Mars); two to Australian artists (if counting
    Gotye as Australian); and one to a Barbadian (Rihanna)

Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2, says: “BBC Radio 2 plays the best of the best pop music, and our Most Played Chart of the last decade is packed with universally loved, singalong pop hits that really do stand the test of time. So do tune in to our unique Top 40 countdown on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds!”

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL, says: “PPL is delighted to provide the BBC with data for this incredible chart of the decade. The top 40 most played songs are the sounds that radio producers and broadcasters have consistently played throughout the last decade and will evoke many memories for all of us. Congratulations and thank you to all those who feature in our Most Played Songs of the 2010s chart.”