Ed Sheeran Was Spotify's #1 Artist This Year, Grammy Snubs Be Damned

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.
Ed Sheeran fans might be bummed that he didn't receive more Grammy nominations this year — but they can take comfort in the fact that they're in good company.
Spotify has revealed its list of the most-popular artists on the streaming service this year, and Ed Sheeran is at the top. Sheeran was the most-streamed artist globally, and his album ÷ (Divide) was the most-streamed album of 2017. "Shape of You" has also become the most-streamed song of all time on Spotify — it's brought in more than 1.4 billion streams and counting. Apparently, a whopping 47 million monthly listeners tune into Sheeran's music on the streaming service.
In a statement, Spotify's chief content officer, Stefan Bloom, said that "2017 was The Year of Ed Sheeran." Those who are disappointed in the fact that Sheeran only received two Grammy nominations should be happy to hear that the streaming service is recognizing his popularity. It's also good news for Sheeran himself, who recently said to Ellen DeGeneres, "Maybe this year isn't my year."
Drake fans might not be so happy with the Spotify news, though — he was the most-streamed artist globally in both 2015 and 2016.
Disappointingly, none of the top five most-streamed artists were women. Here are the most popular artists of the year on Spotify:
1. Ed Sheeran
2. Drake
3. The Weeknd
4. Kendrick Lamar
5. The Chainsmokers
Among women artists specifically, Rihanna was the most popular on Spotify. The top streamed female artists on Spotify this year were:
1. Rihanna
2. Taylor Swift
3. Selena Gomez
4. Ariana Grande
5. Sia
Last month, chairman and CEO of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow told Variety that Grammy nominations and artists' popularity don't always go hand-in-hand.
"I think it's the challenge of trying to create objectivity out of something that's inherently subjective — art and music. I think we have to put this through the lens of our voters — it's not the fans, it's not about who had the most hits or the most sales or chart success, it's the craft, right? It's gonna come down to five in each category, so hard choices have to be made," Portnow said to Variety. "In my opinion, there's not one Grammy [category] that's more important or valuable than any other — they just represent different elements of the craft. In terms of Ed and the recordings he made, certainly our voters thought highly of him and he is nominated [for two awards]. In terms of where he's nominated, that's our members' call, and I have to respect that."
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