Bad Bunny and BTS: the year's most-streamed music on Apple and Spotify

The two biggest streaming services reveal what people have been listening to in 2021

Bad Bunny at the American Music Awards on November  21, 2021, at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. AP
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Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift and BTS are among the most streamed artists of 2021, according to figures from Apple Music and Spotify.

But it was newcomer Olivia Rodrigo who topped Spotify’s list of most-streamed songs of the year, with her debut song Drivers License garnering more than 1.1 billion streams.

Rodrigo’s follow-up single Good 4 U was also the fourth most-streamed song on Spotify. The former Disney Channel star has had quite the year, having also received seven Grammy nominations.

The top five list of most-streamed songs was rounded off by Lil Nas X’s Montero (Call Me By Your Name), The Kid Laroi's Stay featuring Justin Beiber and Dua Lipa’s Levitating.

With more than 9.1 billion streams over the course of 2021, Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny was Spotify’s most-streamed artist for the second year running. “I don’t go into it to be the No 1 most-streamed artist. I just make music. I just enjoy my work,” he said in response to the news.

The second most-streamed artist of 2021 - and most streamed female artist of the year - was Taylor Swift, who released new versions of her classic albums Fearless and Red this year. She was joined in the top five by BTS, Drake and Justin Beiber.

BTS have also enjoyed a stellar year on Apple Music, with their hit single Dynamite emerging as the streaming service's most-played song of the year. Perhaps reflecting its more US-centric audience, the other top performing songs on Apple Music in 2021 were Rodrigo’s Drivers License, Ariana Grande’s Positions, For The Night by Pop Smoke and Blinding Lights by The Weeknd.

The K-pop group also continues to enjoy success in the Mena region, with songs Butter, Dynamite, Permission to Dance and Life Goes On ranking as the top four most-streamed K-Pop songs on Spotify in both the UAE and wider Mena region in 2021.

BTS were the most streamed K-Pop artists of the year in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and wider Mena region as well.

In terms of the top Mena artists, Moroccan rapper ElGrandeToto is the most-streamed Arab artist of 2021 in the region, followed by Wegz from Egypt, Inkonnu, Amr Diab and Tagne.

ElGrandeToto’s Mghayer was the most-streamed song from the Mena region in 2021, with Tagne’s Nadi Candi in the second spot and Hadal Ahbek by Jordan’s Issam Alnajjar taking third place.

Spotify has also released its much-anticipated Spotify Wrapped service, allowing its more than 381 million users to access detailed insights into their listening habits over the course of the year.

Updated: December 02, 2021, 9:06 AM