To coincide with the Welsh Music Prize on 20 October 2017, music licensing organisation PPL has counted down the 12 most played Welsh artists over the past 12 years.

To coincide with the seventh annual Welsh Music Prize this Friday (20 October), music licensing organisation PPL has released a chart of the 12 most played Welsh artists on TV, radio and in public places over the past 12 years (the number of nominees for this year’s prize).

The Welsh Music Prize was founded in 2011 by Swn Festival promoter John Rostron and Swn co-founder and BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens.  The prize was established to champion the best new music coming out of Wales or made by Welsh artists around the world.    

Cwmaman rockers Stereophonics take the top spot having now released 39 UK singles since their debut ‘Look Like Chaplin’ in 1996 , with Gwynedd-born blue-eyed soul songstress Duffy charting behind them at No. 2.  Blackwood’s Manic Street Preachers complete the top three most played chart with a career that spans 29 years and 12 studio albums.  

Elsewhere, Dame Shirley Bassey narrowly misses out on making the top ten (No. 11) and there are entries for Bonnie Tyler (No. 4), Tom Jones (No .5) and Charlotte Church (No. 7).  Mid-noughties indie outfit The Automatic also appear inside the top ten (No. 8), no doubt helped by their 2006 Official UK Singles Chart top five hit ‘Monster’, a song that is now played regularly at the Cardiff City Stadium as part of the pre-match warm-up.  

Newport pop-punk outfit Feeder also appear in the chart (No. 6) thanks to hits such as ‘Buck Rogers’, ‘Insomnia’ and ‘Just A Day’ and ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ singer Shakin’ Stevens takes the No.9 spot. 

Outside of the top 12; there are also appearances from critically-acclaimed Welsh acts Catatonia (No. 14) and Super Furry Animals (No. 20), as well as more recent artists such as Catfish & The Bottlemen (No. 15) and Marina & The Diamonds (No. 18). 

This year’s ceremony will take place on 20 October at Milk & Sugar at The Old Library in Cardiff and will be supported by PPL.

The 12 most played Welsh artists of the past 12 years

1. Stereophonics
2. Duffy
3. Manic Street Preachers 
4. Bonnie Tyler
5. Tom Jones
6. Feeder
7. Charlotte Church
8. The Automatic
9. Shakin’ Stevens
10. Jem
11. Dame Shirley Bassey 
12. Amen Corner

*Based on PPL data from June 2005 to July 2017 

John Rostron, co-founder of the Welsh Music Prize and Swn Festival “It really is quite fascinating looking back at this chart of the most played Welsh artists of the past 12 years.  When many of these artists broke, there was no social media or streaming services and the musical landscape was very different to that of today.  Having said that, bands like Stereophonics continue to sell out stadiums and some of the Manics’ most recent work has been some of their strongest creatively to-date.  The Welsh Music Prize is designed to champion new music over the past year and several of the artists on the shortlist are at a very early stage in their career; it’s very exciting to think about where they might feature in this chart in 12 years’ time.” 

Tim Silver, Head of Music Reporting Services at PPL said, “This most played Welsh chart showcases the sheer breadth and diversity of music coming out of Wales over the past two decades.  The fact that artists as influential and as diverse as the Manics, Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey appear in the chart is a testament to the quality of Wales’ musical output over the years.  The Welsh Music Prize champions the best in new Welsh music and PPL is proud to support it – good luck to all of the nominees this Friday.” 

The most played Welsh artist chart is based on PPL data from UK radio and TV broadcasters covering the period 2005 to 2017.  Both the number of plays and total played duration are used to rank the tracks in the charts.



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About PPL

Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for tens of thousands of performers and record companies.  We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members.  These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners.  

PPL has a market-leading international collections business, with 84 agreements in place across 40 countries, helping members to maximise their revenue when their repertoire is played overseas.  We collected £212 million in the UK and internationally in 2016 and paid over 92,000 performers and record companies.