Rounding out the top 10 radio artists in Mediabase’s ranking were Pop Smoke, Doja Cat, 24kGoldn, Ava Max and Drake.
Although she was only the fourth-biggest artist at radio overall, Dua Lipa had the No. 1 most-played song for the year, in the form of “Levitating” — a song that famously soared at radio, fell off for a while, and then came back to be the monster hit of the year.
24kGoldn was another artist that had a lot of its 2021 firepower concentrated in just one smash, as “Mood,” a track with a feature from Iann Diorr, landed at No. 2 on the year-end all-format chart.
Rounding out the radio top 10: the Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears” at No. 3, followed by Chris Brown and Young Thug’s “Go Crazy,” Grande’s “Positions,” an older Weeknd classic, “Blinding Lights,” Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open,” Doja Cat and SZA’s “Kiss Me More,” Max’s “Kings & Queens” and “Peaches” by Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon.
Bieber also had several hits spaced out to arrive at his No. 2 position for the year, with none of them ranking higher than No. 10 on the songs ranking. That’s the position that “Peaches” achieved, followed by “Holy” (with Chance the Rapper) at No. 15, “Stay” (with the Kid Laroi) at No. 27 and “Lonely” (with Benny Blanco) at No. 35.
At the Top 40 format, Grande was on top as the most-played artist, followed by Rodrigo, Bieber, the Weeknd, Lipa, Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, 24kGoldn, the Kid Laroi and Billie Eilish. Lipa’s “Levitating” was the No. 1 song for the year at Top 40.
In country, Luke Combs was tops in the artists chart for 2021, followed by Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Dan + Shay, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Russell Dickerson. The top country song was Rhett’s “What’s Your Country Song.”
In label market share of radio songs, Republic came in first, followed by Interscope in second place and Columbia in third, repeating last year’s top winners. RCA had the most movement in radio share, moving up from sixth to fourth. Atlantic came in fifth, with Warner, Capitol, Def Jem, Epic and 300 Ent. rounding out the overall market share top 10.
The Mediabase rankings represent data collected between Nov. 8, 2020 and Nov. 17, 2021. The nine formats surveyed are Top 40, Rhythmic, Urban, R&B, Hot AC, AC, Active Rock, Alternative and Triple A.