YouTube Music today reveals the UK’s Top Music Videos of 2021. Again underlining YouTube Music’s huge influence on pop culture, the list compiles the ten official music videos that received the most views in the UK after being uploaded in 2021.
Coming in at #1 is Tion Wayne and Russ Millions’ all-star ‘Body 2’ video, featuring Arrdee, 3x3E! & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo, Buni. The track is not only the first ever drill track to hit #1 on the UK Official Singles Chart, but it fired the two artists to the top of the game. It also helped featured artist and recent YouTube Music Artist on the Rise ArrDee become one of the year’s breaking talents, and saw the long-standing ‘King of The North’ Bugzy Malone reach the biggest audience of his career.
The original version of ‘Body’ also features in the chart at #7, making Tion Wayne and Russ Millions one of only two artists to feature twice - the other being Olivia Rodrigo with ‘good 4 u’ and ‘drivers license’. The two‘Body’ videos also standout on the chart as the only videos that weren’t uploaded by the artist’s official channel. Instead they were both featured on GRM Daily, which now boasts 4.7 million subscribers, GRM Daily has played a vital role in elevating UK genres such as drill and grime from the underground to become the dominant sound in contemporary youth culture.
YouTube Music’s UK Top Music Videos of 2021 chart also reveals that UK artists are truly flourishing. Six of the videos are from UK artists, including another Artist on the Rise in the shape of Central Cee, whose ‘Commitment Issues’ helped cement his rising star status.
The chart also reiterates YouTube Music’s huge reach, both domestically and internationally. The platform has made an essential contribution to the success of domestic artists around the world, with a staggering global tally of over 2 billion views.
The Top Music Videos is one of five UK year-end charts that YouTube have issued today. The other categories - Top Trending Videos, Top Creators, Breakout Creators and the new Top Shorts Creators - can be seen BELOW.
Tion Wayne x Russ Millions - ‘Body 2’ featuring Arrdee, 3x3E! & ZT, Bugzy Malone, Fivio Foreign, Darkoo, Buni - watch it below
The original version of ‘Body’ was already a landmark moment for drill, but a stellar selection of star guests took ‘Body 2’ to a whole new level. The result was that ‘Body’ became one of the biggest hits of the year, and was certified Platinum in recognition of over 600,000 UK sales.
Ed Sheeran - ‘Bad Habits’ [Official Video] - watch it below
‘Bad Habits’ is the biggest track from Ed Sheeran’s hit-packed album phenomenon ‘=’. ‘Bad Habits’ played a big part in Sheeran reaching #1 on YouTube Music’s Top Artists chart in more than ten countries. He has also now spent over 300 weeks on the Global Top Artists chart.
The Weeknd - ‘Save Your Tears’ (Official Music Video) - watch it below
The year’s first blockbuster music video kickstarted a year in which there was no escaping The Weeknd. From a dazzling halftime show at the Superbowl to the huge hits album ‘The Highlights’ and his first BRIT Award, the Canadian star did it all. His profile was amplified with a global total of 600 million views for ‘Save Your Tears’.
Olivia Rodrigo - ‘good 4 u’ (Official Video) - watch it below
Olivia Rodrigo rejuvenated elements of pop-punk and emo for Generation Z with ‘good 4 u’, but its official video was just as attention-grabbing. She stars as a cheerleader out for revenge in a visual that merges the current dark pop scene with an early 2000s aesthetic. 300 million views later, it’s now in contention for Best Music Video at the Grammy Awards.
LIL NAS X - ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’ (Official Video) - watch it below
Another Grammy-nominated video! You can analyse the striking symbolism in the ‘MONTERO’ as much as you like, but one truth is self-evident: if a video shows LIL NAS X lapdancing for the devil, people will hit play again and again. The ‘MONTERO’ video hit #1 on YouTube Music’s Top Songs in over 20 countries. Internet broken, mission accomplished.
Olivia Rodrigo - ‘drivers license’ (Official Video) - watch it below
Olivia Rodrigo released her debut single ‘drivers license’ in January and immediately became pop’s biggest new star of 2021. Inspiring comparisons with Taylor Swift and Lorde, the stylish video brought the emotional story to life. Eleven months on, Olivia now has a global #1 album to her name and she looks set to be a big hit at the 2022 Grammy Awards with seven nominations.
Russ Millions x Tion Wayne - ‘Body’ [Music Video] - watch it below
The original version of 2021’s biggest video.
Dave - ‘Clash’ (featuring Stormzy) - watch it below
The first track from Dave’s eagerly anticipated second album and a feature from fellow rap legend Stormzy? Yes, the ‘Clash’ video had everything it took to grab the imagination of a huge audience. There was only one way to make it to make it more iconic: by taking some Aston Martins on a lap around Silverstone.
Central Cee - ‘Commitment Issues’ [Music Video) - watch it below
Central Cee’s artist channel exploded in 2021. He started the year with 80,000 subscribers, but ‘Commitment Issues’ saw his following grow exponentially as he now approaches 600,000. His current video, ‘Obsessed With You’, looks likely to be bigger still, with 25 million views split between its official video and its animated visual.
Anne-Marie x KSI x Digital Farm Animals - ‘Don’t Play’ [Official Music Video] - watch it below
Taking a modern approach to a throwback garage sound, ‘Don’t Play’ became Anne-Marie’s highest charting single as a lead artist as well as the biggest so far from both KSI and Digital Farm Animals. Its video was even more fun, as it playfully referenced Anne-Marie’s time as a black belt in karate and KSI’s experiences as a boxer.
Dan Chalmers, Director of Music YouTube EMEA said: “YouTube has always been the place where any artist of any genre can break and this list is testament to that with drill at number one and featuring the same video twice in one list. It’s a true reflection of what is going on in Britain today”