Female pop stars broke records in the UK singles chart, accounting for nearly half of all songs that reached the top 10 in 2023.

2023 was a fantastic year for women in pop music. Hitmakers for the year included Miley Cyrus with the year’s biggest single ‘Flowers’s, as well as Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Kenya Grace, Raye, Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, and Taylor Swift.

In fact, women counted for 7 of the year’s top 10 singles. This is according to the British Phonographic Institute (BPI), who have revealed the figures for the British music industry last year.

The stats reveal that 48.5% of all the songs that reached the Top 10 this year were by women. That’s the highest annual share of Top 10 hits for female musicians this century.

Beyond the female element, the statistics show that new albums didn’t have much of an impact last year. The top 10 albums of 2023 were populated by the same records as 2022, except for Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) – a remake of her 2014 record.

Clearly something isn’t resonating about new albums with listeners. It’s likely the changing habits of music listeners.

Firstly, the modern music consumer is much more likely to listen to singles and playlists rather than full albums. Secondly, the abundance of music streaming has pushed fans more towards their own niches of taste, somewhat hindering the monoculture of big pop records that everyone’s listening to.

Finally, now that music streaming services are the main form of music consumption a full listen to an album is counted a lot less towards the figures than a straight up purchase. In the past, many would’ve purchased the big new records to hear it, even if they didn’t up liking it and listening to it again. Now, with the non-committal ease of streaming, users can happily check out new music without investing in it unless they like it.

Streaming made up more than 80% of the overall recorded music market. However, to hammer the previous point home, of the 44 albums that debuted at number 1, 86% had physical record sales make up more than half their chart-eligible sales.

The UK’s top albums of 2023

1. The Weeknd – The Highlights
2. Taylor Swift – Midnights
3. Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version)
4. Elton John – Diamonds
5. Harry Styles – Harry’s House
6. Fleetwood Mac – 50 Years – Don’t Stop
7. Eminem – Curtain Call: The Hits
8. SZA – SOS
9. Arctic Monkeys – AM
10. ABBA – Gold: Greatest Hits

The UK’s top singles of 2023

1. Miley Cyrus – Flowers
2. Dave and Central Cee – Sprinter
3. Raye – Escapism ft 070 Shake
4. Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero
5. Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding – Miracle
6. Rema – Calm Down
7. SZA – Kill Bill
8. PinkPantheress – Boy’s a Liar
9. Harry Styles – As It Was
10. Libianca – People

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