Rap and hip hop had most successful year ever in the UK in 2020

Ellie Harrison
·1-min read
AJ Tracey (Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock)
AJ Tracey (Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock)

Rap and hip hop made up a fifth of all UK singles consumption last year, according to new figures.

Data from the British Phonographic Industry shows that the genres had their most successful year ever in the UK in 2020.

In the Nineties, rap counted for 3.6 per cent of the singles market, compared to 22 per cent in 2020.

Among the most successful artists were Headie One, Dave and AJ Tracey, who each achieved at least 50 million plays in the UK.

British artists make up a third of all the rap and hip hop singles streamed last year.

Stormzy was the biggest-selling artist in both the UK’s rap and hip hop singles and albums charts, with his Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy collaboration “Own It” and 2019 LP “Heavy is the Head” respectively.

International artists such as Megan The Stallion and Cardi B have also received credit from the BPI for helping boost rap and hip hop’s popularity in the UK.

“A glimpse of this year’s Brits nominees shows the extent to which rap and hip-hop now occupies music’s centre ground,” Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI and the Brit Awards, said in a statement.

“The genre has exploded in recent years, propelled by artists such as Stormzy, Dave and Little Simz, who are creating a new narrative for British music and are leading a rising wave of British talent that is harnessing the power of streaming to achieve chart success.”

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