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The UK's most-streamed songs may surprise you

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Queen, Miley Cyrus and Eminem were among 2018's most-streamed songs
When it was released in 2010, Foster The People's indie-pop anthem Pumped Up Kicks became a moderate hit, reaching number 18 in the UK charts.But the LA band's debut single is enjoying a second lease of life on streaming services.Last year, it was the UK's most-streamed song of all those originally released in 2010, beating hits like Lady Gaga's Telephone and Cee-Lo's Forget You, which were chart-toppers that year.Pumped Up Kicks was played 21 million times last year, according to the BPI, which has revealed the UK's most-streamed songs based on the year they first came out.The recording industry body said 90 billion songs were streamed in the UK last year, an increase of 33.5% from 2017.
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The data highlighted how songs like Pumped Up Kicks can grow in stature after their release.AC/DC's Thunderstruck and Miley Cyrus's Party In The USA top the streaming charts for 1990 and 2009 respectively, even though they didn't trouble the top 20 at the time."It's a process of songs gathering momentum as time goes on," said Rob Crutchley of the BPI, who compiled the figures."A few of those tracks have featured in TV programmes and films, which helps push them over the edge in terms of gaining even more mass popularity, as new audiences become exposed to them."Queen were notable beneficiaries of this boost in 2018 following the release of the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.Don't Stop Me Now became the most-streamed song from 1978; while Bohemian Rhapsody (the song) was the most-played track from the entire 1970s, overtaking Earth Wind & Fire's September. The Spinners' Rubberband Man enjoyed a surge in popularity after its use in Avengers: Infinity War, as did Pat Benatar's We Belong, which featured in Deadpool 2.Even older films can have a halo effect - with Daryl Hall & John Oates' You Make My Dreams becoming 1980's biggest song thanks to its use in the 2009 rom-com 500 Days of Summer.At the same time, some of pop's biggest artists are missing from the BPI's chart - with no entries for the Beatles, Abba, Madonna or David Bowie.
Most-streamed songs 1990 - 2018
Year
Artist
Song
2018 streams (million)
2018
Drake
God's Plan
147.4
2017
Keala Settle/Greatest Showman cast
This Is Me
114.7
2016
Bruno Mars
Finesse
54.7
2015
Sia
Cheap Thrills
26.5
2014
Ed Sheeran
Thinking Out Loud
30.6
2013
George Ezra
Budapest
31.3
2012
Passenger
Let Her Go
22.5
2011
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Can't Hold Us
26.3
2010
Foster the People
Pumped Up Kicks
21.0
2009
Miley Cyrus
Party In The USA
18.0
2008
Jason Mraz
I'm Yours
26.9
2007
Arctic Monkeys
Fluorescent Adolescent
22.7
2006
The Kooks
Naive
26.9
2005
Kanye West ft Jamie Foxx
Gold Digger
21.2
2004
Mario
Let Me Love You
19.0
2003
The Killers
Mr Brightside
46.9
2002
Eminem
Lose Yourself
23.6
2001
Nickelback
How You Remind Me
11.4
2000
Linkin Park
In The End
16.8
1999
TLC
No Scrubs
22.6
1998
Goo Goo Dolls
Iris
20.1
1997
The Verve
Bittersweet Symphony
17.5
1996
Blackstreet ft Dr Dre
No Diggity
17.9
1995
Oasis
Wonderwall
34.1
1994
Mariah Carey
All I Want For Christmas Is You
39.0
1993
The Cranberries
Linger
9.7
1992
Radiohead
Creep
10.1
1991
Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit
18.6
1990
AC/DC
Thunderstruck
12.7
Elsewhere, Christmas songs continued to be popular, with Wham's Last Christmas and Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You scoring huge streaming numbers.Other tracks simply lingered in people's minds, long after contemporary hits faded.Naive by The Kooks has been riding high for the three years we've compiled these statistics," said Crutchley."The album it's from sold a lot of copies and they've still got a big, hardcore fanbase - but it's only becoming apparent now what a cult hit that song's turned into."And sometimes that's what this is about, I think. Songs can be rediscovered and gain momentum a bit later on."Crutchley added the availability of once-obscure songs on streaming services could even rescue artists from the dustbin of history."Do you remember Maniac by Michael Sembello? It was in the film Flashdance but it never charted in the UK top 40. Now it's getting more than four million streams a year."So if you're embedded in history in some little way, there's a chance people will go back and discover your music. You're there for posterity in some ways."
Most-streamed songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s
Year
Artist
Song
2018 Streams (million)
1989
The Stone Roses
Waterfall
8.2
1988
Tracy Chapman
Fast Car
14.3
1987
The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl
Fairytale of New York
29.4
1986
Chris Rea
Driving Home for Christmas
19.8
1985
Shakin' Stevens
Merry Christmas Everyone
21.0
1984
Wham!
Last Christmas
34.4
1983
Eurythmics
Sweets Dream (Are Made of This)
21.5
1982
Toto
Africa
32.1
1981
Journey
Don't Stop Believin'
24.3
1980
Daryl Hall & John Oates
You Make My Dreams
24.8
1979
Paul McCartney
Wonderful Christmas Time
15.9
1978
Queen
Don't Stop Me Now
25.4
1977
ELO
Mr Blue Sky
26.7
1976
Fleetwood Mac
Go Your Own Way
20.1
1975
Queen
Bohemian Rhapsody
29.8
1974
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Sweet Home Alabama
14.9
1973
Elton John
Step Into Christmas
21.6
1972
Stevie Wonder
Superstition
19.5
1971
John Denver
Take Me Home Country Roads
16.5
1970
Elton John
Your Song
12.5
1969
The Jackson 5
I Want You Back
20.4
1968
Otis Redding
(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay
11.2
1967
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Ain't No Mountain High Enough
18.3
1966
The Rolling Stones
Paint It Black
9.9
1965
The Four Tops
I Can't Help Myself
8.7
1964
The Temptations
My Girl
12.5
1963
Andy Williams
It's The Most Wonderful Time
12.3
1962
Sam Cooke
Bring It On Home to Me
5.1
1961
Ben E King
Stand By Me
16.2
1960
Etta James
At Last
6.8
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