Vevo unveils its most popular music videos of 2021


The weekend

The Weeknd, Little Mix and Lil Nas X have featured some of the UK’s most popular music videos over the past 12 months, Vevo said.

Canadian singer The Weeknd was the most-watched artist of the last year with 94.3 million views, followed by Little Mix with 93.7 million views – which announced its breakup last week.

Lil Nas X’s Montero (Call Me By Your Name) took # 1 on the Vevo Engagement Board for 2021, which ranks videos based on the most likes, shares, and comments.

little mix
The Weeknd, Little Mix and Lil Nas X have featured some of the UK’s most popular music videos over the past 12 months (John Marshall / PA)

After six years, Adele’s first single Easy On Me from her new album reached second place by this measure.

American pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo had a milestone year with her album Sour, becoming the seventh most-watched Vevo artist of 2021 in the UK.

The 18-year-old singer-songwriter has increased the number of viewers of her music videos tenfold to 64.01 million views in the UK this year, according to Vevo.

Globally, Karol G tops the 2021 Most Viewed Artist chart with 3.11 billion views, followed closely by The Weeknd with 3.10 billion views.

Alan Price, CEO of Vevo, said: “Vevo is the music video destination for artists of all genres and at all stages of their careers. Our rankings feature both established stars, like Taylor Swift and Future, and more recent names that have also made headlines this year, like Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo.

“In 2021, consumption and fan engagement with music videos continued to provide a great deal of insight into the vital nature of the music video to drive, shape and respond to cultural moments.”

Old favorites were boosted by high-profile celebrity romances this year.

Jennifer Lopez saw the number of viewers increase among the many reports on her comeback with actor Ben Affleck, who appeared in her clip Jenny From The Block.

In September, viewership of Machine Gun Kelly’s Bloody Valentine, starring actress Megan Fox, doubled after he and Fox hit the red carpet at the VMAs.

Lil nas x
Lil Nas X’s Montero (Call Me By Your Name) secured # 1 on the Vevo Commitment Board for 2021 (IAn West / PA)

The European Championship caused a significant increase in the audience for anthems such as Baddiel, Skinner and Three Lions from The Lightning Seeds, which attracted 31 times its usual audience.

At the same time, Scottish DJ George GBX Bowie’s remix of Baccara’s Yes Sir I Can Boogie for the Scottish Euros campaign has increased the number of views of this clip by a factor of five.

Likewise, fans have turned to music videos to remember artists, including Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, whose death in August resulted in a 140% increase in viewership.

The growing popularity of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram has spurred the rediscovery of nostalgic clips like Boney M’s Rasputin and Earth, Wind And Fire’s Let’s Groove Tonight.

Top trends for TikTok-influenced music videos this year include Washing Machine Heart by Mitski, Dinero by Trinidad Cardona and She Knows by J Cole.