Ed Sheeran was the UK's most listened to musician in 2021

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Ed Sheeran performs on the Main Stage at War Memorial Park on May 28, 2022 in Coventry, England.  (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)
Ed Sheeran performs in May, 2022. (Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

Ed Sheeran was the UK's most played musician in 2021 according to a music licensing body.

Sheeran also had the UK's most played song with his chart topping 'Bad Habits'.

It is the fourth time in the past five years that Sheeran has been the UK's most played artist.

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PPL, the music licensing body, take into account plays on radio, on TV and in pubs, clubs and shops.

Sheeran's continuing popularity is "a testament to the quality of his output [and] the strength of UK music at a time when the global music landscape is more competitive than ever," according to PPL chief executive Peter Leatham.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: Ed Sheeran performs during the Platinum Pageant on June 05, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.  (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Ed Sheeran performs during the Platinum Pageant, 2022. (Getty Images)

In the final tally, Sheeran finished ahead of French DJ David Guetta and pop star Dua Lipa with the top 10 also including The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Little Mix, Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Pink and Calvin Harris.

On the most played songs list, Tom Grennan took home both second and third place with his Calvin Harris collaboration 'By Your Side' and solo hit 'Little Bit of Love'.

'Blinding Lights' by The Weeknd was the fourth most played song of 2021 despite it originally being released in 2019. The song has sold over three million copies in the UK.

INDIO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 17: The Weeknd performs onstage at the Coachella Stage during the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 17, 2022 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ABA)
The Weeknd performs onstage at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ABA)

Guetta also had two tracks in the top ten with 'Heartbreak Anthem', a collaboration with Galantis and Little Mix and also 'Bed' with features Joel Corry and Raye.

Also in the top 10 was 'Higher Power' by Coldplay, 'All You Ever Wanted' by Rag n Bone Man, 'Starstruck' by Years & Years and 'Midnight Sky' by Miley Cyrus.

A notable absence from both lists was Adele who released her fourth album 30 in November last year and went on to become 2021's highest selling album.

30 sold more than double the amount of copies of second place – ABBA's Voyage.

Watch: Ed Sheeran was the most played artist of 2021