Spotify just released a bunch of data about the most listened to artists in 2016, and for the second year in a row, Drake dominated streams everywhere. And we mean, really dominated. Like some people must have not listened to anything else over the last 365 days. (And, hey, we get it, you like what you like.)
The former Degrassi star (he’ll always be Jimmy Brooks to us) garnered over 4.7 billion streams in 2016. His single, "One Dance", has been streamed almost 970 million times -- which is actually about 3x more than the population of the United States. Views, Drake’s newest album, got over 2.45 billion streams. All those numbers make Drake the most streamed artist in Spotify history with over 8.7 billion streams. We’re assuming the difference between this year and his total streams comes solely from people wearing sweaters, two-stepping to Hotline Bling in 2015.
Once upon a time, the gold standard for judging an album’s popularity was The Eagles' Greatest Hits. It sold 29 million copies after its 1976 release. Drake’s album was streamed more than 75 times that. 75 times?! And that was just this year. (FYI, The Eagles are also on Spotify, along with Pink Floyd, the Beatles, and most other artists your dad considers ‘real music.’)
Drake even had the most streams in a single day: May 20, 2016. It was a simpler time: Bernie Sanders was still fighting for a shot at the DNC nomination, no one had reported seeing creepy clowns in their neighborhoods, and it was two days before Bran told Hodor to “Hold the Door” on Game Of Thrones. It’s been a rough year guys.
But take some solace in this: Rhi Rhi’s hard “Work” has definitely paid off. She’s the top streamed female artist on Spotify, with over 2.5 million streams. That’s also about how many times she says “work” in her single. (Okay, actually she says it 79 times -- but that’s still a lot!)
Here’s the rankings, based on streams in 2016:
Top Five Global Artists
2. Justin Bieber
4. Twenty One Pilots
5. Kanye West
Top Five Global Males:
2. Justin Bieber
3. Twenty One Pilots
4. Kanye West
Top Five Global Females:
2. Ariana Grande
5. Fifth Harmony
Besides Drake’s “One Dance” and Rihanna’s “Work,” “I Took A Pill in Ibiza,” by Mike Posner, “Don’t Let Me Down,” by The Chainsmokers, and “Cheap Thrills,” by Sia, were in the top five global tracks this year on Spotify and were each streamed more than 550 million times. The top five albums, besides (you guessed it), Views and Rihanna’s ANTI, were Justin Bieber’s Purpose, Blurryface from Twenty One Pilots, and The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness.
So in all seriousness, if you’re a person on Planet Earth who didn’t listen to Drake on Spotify this year (but decided to click on this story?) please email the author because we really want to know what “better things” you had to do. For the rest of you, check out 2016 Wrapped at spotify.com/2016 for the top playlists of 2016, year in review playlists, videos, and more.