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P
Pa
March 8, 2021

Female acts enjoy best run at top of charts in more than a decade

World

P
Pa
March 8, 2021

Female acts are enjoying their strongest showing at the top of the official UK singles chart for more than 10 years, new analysis reveals. Songs performed either by solo female artists or exclusively female line-ups have topped the chart in 21 of the last 52 weeks.

This is the highest proportion (40 per cent) in any 52-week period since November 2009. It represents a major turnaround in the gender balance of UK number one hits, from a low point in autumn 2018 that saw all-female acts claim the top spot in only one of the previous 52 weeks.

The analysis, by the PA news agency, shows that the resurgence of women chart-toppers in the past year has been driven by a mixture of old and new stars.

Current number one Olivia Rodrigo has now held the top spot for eight consecutive weeks with her song Drivers License. Ariana Grande had a six-week spell at number one in late 2020 with Positions, plus a week at the top in June with her duet with Lady Gaga, Rain On Me.

Completing the tally of 21 weeks of all-female chart-toppers in the past 52 weeks is Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion (three weeks); Little Mix (one week); and Mariah Carey, who held the top spot two weeks in December with her 1994 festive favourite All I Want For Christmas Is You.

The current strong run of exclusively-female UK number ones is a far cry from the week ending September 13 2018, when they accounted for just one of the previous 52 weeks of chart-toppers: Jess Glynne and her song I’ll Be There.

When calculating the figures for all-female number ones, the PA did not include songs performed by combinations of male and female artists, including mixed groups and ensembles.

Responding to the findings, Emma Banks, founding agent of the Creative Artists Agency, told the PA news agency: “I have never seen a time where women artists have been so empowered to create their music.

“It is fantastic they are now getting the recognition that they have deserved and to see this reflected in the charts. The recent triumph of the women in the charts had largely been driven by well-established artists, but over the past year myself and my team have signed so many young women who are spectacularly talented and this gives me real hope for the continued growth of female talent in our industry.”