Female artists enjoyed record success on Official Singles Chart in 2023

Sisters were doing it for themselves - and reaping the rewards, research by the BPI and Official Charts shows.
year of women official chart

A new report by the BPI and Official Charts reveals that women experienced record-breaking success on the UK charts in 2023. Overall, female artists spent a record-breaking 31 weeks at Number 1 in 2023, the most since the Official Chart's inception in 1952.

This record-breaking success was lead by the ten-week chart-topping stint of Miley Cyrus's Flowers, which was name the Official biggest song of 2023 as a whole by Official Charts, shifting a magnificent 1.7 million chart units last year, including 198 million audio and video streams.

Flowers was a return to true commercial prominence for Miley, her third Number 1 single overall and first in ten years since she secured the dual chart-toppers We Can't Stop and Wrecking Ball in 2013, during her BANGERZ era.

Overall, seven of the 10 of the UK's Official biggest songs of 2023 were by women; with Miley being joined by RAYE ft. 070 Shake's Escapism. (2), Taylor Swift's Anti-Hero (4), Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding's Miracle (5), SZA's Kill Bill (7), PinkPantheress's boy's a liar (8) and Libianca's People (10).

Sisters were, quite frankly, doing it for themselves in 2023; 9 of 2023's 16 Number 1 singles were by female acts, with a mix of both domestic and international artists.

UK homegrown success stories during this period included Ellie Goulding, who secured her landmark fourth UK Number 1 this year with a feature on Calvin Harris' trance banger Miracle. Dua Lipa also returned with Barbie cut Dance The Night, also her fourth UK chart-topper. Ellie and Dua now rank as some of the British female solo artists with the most UK Number 1 singles of all time, matching the all-time total of Rita Ora and Geri Halliwell. Only Jess Glynne (with 7) and Cheryl (with 5) have more. 

2023 was also the year of the breakout Number 1. Two domestic acts in particular shone through, with RAYE's Escapism. opening as the first Number 1 of 2023, and the first of RAYE's career in an emotionally vindicated moment given her new-found status as an independent artist.

At the tail end of summer, Kenya Grace also completed a surprising and totally thrilling ascent to Number 1 with Strangers, becoming only the second female artist ever to write, produce and perform a Number 1 hit entirely solo, after Kate Bush.

International hits by Billie Eilish (What Was I Made For?), Doja Cat (Paint The Town Red), Olivia Rodrigo (vampire) and Taylor Swift (Is It Over Now? (Taylor's Version)) complete this record-breaking haul.

In total, female acts spent a total of 31 weeks at the top of the Official Singles Chart in 2023, 60% of the total year.

In August, we saw a record-breaking week on the Official Singles Chart when the Top 6 was made up entirely of solo women, led by Billie Eilish.

On the final year-end chart, 13 of the Top 20 biggest songs of the year were by female acts; Taylor Swift's Cruel Summer (11), David Guetta & Bebe Rexha's I'm Good (Blue) (13), Olivia Rodrigo's vampire (14), Venbee & Goddard's Messy In Heaven (15), Dua Lipa's Dance The Night (19) and Switch Disco & Ella Henderson's React (20).

In reaction to the news Dr Jo Twist OBE, BPI Chief Executive, said, “Whilst work continues towards achieving full representation for women across the music industry, 2023 has been a brilliant year for women in the Official Charts. There is a more diverse range of recording artists than ever achieving great success with the backing of their labels.

"Women spent more weeks at No.1 on the Official Singles Chart than in any previous year, while seven of the ten biggest tracks were by women. This should be celebrated, but without complacency, and our work in the music industry continues to ensure that this becomes the norm.”

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