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The biggest digital track of 2021 racked up 2.15bn streams


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BTS may have been the biggest artist of 2021 by the IFPI’s calculations, but the body’s prize for the biggest digital single last year went elsewhere. The Weeknd took the gong with ‘Save Your Tears’, which accumulated 2.15bn ‘global subscription streams equivalent’ in 2021.

That put it narrowly ahead of The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber’s ‘Stay’ (on 2.07bn) with Dua Lipa’s ‘Levitating’ (1.88bn) and BTS’s ‘Butter’ (1.76bn) taking third and fourth spots in the chart. It’s the second consecutive win for The Weeknd, whose ‘Blinding Lights’ took the 2020 title.

We’ve been running our calculator over the top 10s from both years. The IFPI’s top 10 tracks of 2020 generated 17.13bn global subscription stream equivalents, while its top 10 for 2021 generated… 17.7bn.

Also of interest: the 2020 winner also appeared in the 2021 chart, with ‘Blinding Lights’ in seventh place with another 1.61bn streams last year.


Written by: Stuart Dredge